Wayne Elmer Omillian

Monday, January 22, 2024

Wayne Elmer Omillian passed into his Savior’s arms on Jan. 20, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. He was born March 27, 1936, the son of William and Irene Omillian (Koponen) in Iron River, Mich., and spent many years in the Blytheville, Dexter, Mo., and Greenville, Mich., communities. Wayne was initially raised by his Finnish grandparents, Esa and Selma, and he was proud of his Yooper Michigan and Finlander heritage. Wayne graduated from Iron River High School in 1954 where he excelled in baseball and football.  Soon after graduation, he embarked on a 20 year career in the United States Air Force that saw him stationed from Maine to California and North Dakota to Arkansas. He retired in 1974 at Blytheville Air Force Base with the rank of senior master sergeant.  Afterwards, Wayne spent another 20 years working as a quality engineer for Federal Mogul in Malden, Mo., and Greenville, Mich. He was also proud of his 14 years teaching statistical quality methods at Montcalm Community College in Michigan. Wayne graduated from Allan Hancock College with a degree in Quality Control and Reliability Engineering.

On Nov. 15, 1956, he wed the former Ruth Imogene Frazer of Hermondale, Mo., at First Lutheran Church in Blytheville. She pre-deceased him in 1996 after 39 years of marriage. In September of 1997, Wayne was blessed to begin a new life with Carolyn Abbott (Weeks) of Blytheville until her passing in 2019. Wayne was an excellent husband and caregiver and he was truly grateful for the warm embrace of the Abbott family.

Wayne was a lifelong active member of the First Lutheran Church in Blytheville.  Through Carolyn, he was also closely associated with the Gospel Lighthouse Church of Blytheville.

Throughout his life, Wayne enjoyed golfing, fishing and rooting on his favorite teams, the Detroit Tigers and, of course, his beloved Green Bay Packers. He was a ski-jumper and accomplished archer in his youth. Wayne was very active in his sons’ sporting activities…volunteering often as a coach or official. 

Survivors include his two sons, Douglas (Anne) of Kansas City, Mo., and Jerry (Robin) of Huntington, Ind.; stepdaughters, Deby Jolley of Memphis and Linda (Kevin) Sanford of Rector; stepson, James Thomas (Clarinda) Abbott II of Blytheville; grandchildren, Chris, Bethany, Alexi, Alyse (Jethro), Christopher, Luke (Courtney), Amber (Christian), James (Leslie), Joy (Zach) along with seven great-grandchildren. Wayne is also survived by a sister, Evie (Tom) Stern, of New London, Wis.; brother, Budd (Karen) Omillian of Spring, Texas; sister-in-law, Mieko Omillian of Crystal Falls, Mich.; and brother-in-law, Kenneth (Ruth Ann) Frazer of Blytheville; many nieces and nephews throughout the Omillian, Frazer and Abbott families.

Wayne was preceded by his parents, both cherished wives and his brother John.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 27, at 2:30 p.m. in the Cobb Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Frazer Family Cemetery in Hermondale, Mo. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time at Cobb Funeral Home.  Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.cobbfuneralhome.com.