Lester Wayne Adkisson, 72, passed peacefully on Wednesday, March 6, with loved ones by his side.

Wayne was born in Harriman, Tennessee, on December 28, 1946, to Lester J. and Virginia Jo (Tilson) Adkisson. The oldest of three, he was a loving brother and friend to many. His gentle spirit and kind smile will be fondly remembered by all whose lives he touched.

He was a “gentleman and a scholar,” and as a young man earned the honor of Eagle Scout and served as a Captain in the US Army.

He was a graduate of Roane County High School in Kingston, Tennesee, Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee; The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. Wayne served for more than 30 years as a pastor in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. He was a minister at Southport Baptist Church.

Wayne found sanctuary being in the outdoors. Raised among the mountain vistas of eastern Tennessee, he had a fondness for nature and native wildflowers, and would frequently be found working in his garden.

Wayne was preceded in death by his father.

He is survived by his mother; his wife of 50 years, Jane Easley Adkisson; daughters Julie Adkisson Bartholomew (Rene) and Beth Adkisson Fleming (Tim); six grandchildren, Sofia, Lucas, Hunter, Josef, Colin and Rees; sisters Jayne A. Averitt (Bob) and Donna A. Esty (Richard); and nieces, nephews and extended family.

A special thanks to friends and family who provided support on his ten-year journey with dementia: to those who provided in-home assistance, Lisa, Rachael, Frances, Linda; the V.A. Homebased Primary Care team; physicians and staff at MemoryCare; and the exceptionally loving staff at Care Partners Adult Day Care and the Brookdale Walden Ridge Memory Care Facility all in Asheville.

If desired, donations may be given in Wayne’s name to MemoryCare, Care Partners Adult Day, or the respite fund at Brookdale Walden Ridge in Asheville.

Remember him among the flowers in your path, or by planting a favorite flower of his, the bright Flame Azalea.

For full service arrangements, please visit grocefuneralhome.com.

Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares about you. 1 Peter 3:7