Wayne Collins Pierce passed away peacefully at home, on December 23, 2020, in Dallas, Texas, surrounded by loved ones. Wayne was born on October 9, 1925, in Mt. Vernon, Texas, to Arnold and Sadie Pierce. After graduation from Mt. Vernon High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 18 and served in the WWII Pacific campaign as a radio operator using morse code on the USS Tryon. After the war, the USS Tryon was assigned to pick up American P.O.W.’s in Japan who were part of the Bataan Death March in the Philippine Islands.
After naval service, Wayne attended East Texas State College in Commerce where he was a stand-out basketball player and met his lovely and devoted wife of 60 years, Myra Jean Seale.
Upon graduation from college, Wayne and Jean returned to his hometown of Mt. Vernon where he proceeded to teach and coach football and basketball at the high school.
In 1954, the Class 2A Mt. Vernon Tiger basketball team won the prestigious 32-team Dr. Pepper Tournament in Dallas, led by the legendary “Dandy” Don Meredith, who was voted the tournament MVP and scored a record 54 points in the semifinal game. The Tigers defeated 4A powerhouse Woodrow Wilson in the championship game, which ironically is the high school where Wayne would eventually serve as principal for 17 years.
Referred to as “Mr. Wildcat,” Mr. Pierce was revered in the Woodrow community and was known as a stern, but fair administrator. He thoroughly cherished all the relationships he developed over the years with the students, staff, and parents, and was known to have a knack for striking up an engaging conversation with total strangers.
In his retirement years, Wayne became a renowned pitcher on the Senior Softball circuit for the Mesquite Texans, who traveled the country and won many Senior League tournaments. He enjoyed the time he spent with his teammates, who became close friends over the years.
Wayne would also be proud to mention the cherished moments he had with his lovely and close friend, Linda Houston, who became his “Guardian Angel” in his later years.
Wayne is preceded in death by his wife Jean Pierce, daughter Becky Napper, and brother Glenn Pierce.
Survivors include his daughter Pam Richmond (husband Robert) and son Steve Pierce, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service was held on December 28, 2020, in Mt. Vernon, Texas.
Online condolences can be made at: www.samharveyfuneralhome.com.
Services entrusted to Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home.
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