Wayne LeRoy Erskine
Jul 5, 1939 – Apr 17, 2016
Wayne L. Erskine (Photo)
July 5, 1939 – April 17, 2016
Wayne LeRoy Erskine of Wake Forest was born in Fargo, North Dakota to the late Vivian Peterson Erskine and Lawrence W. Erskine. He grew up in Los Angeles, California and attended San Jose State University, where he coached and played on a semi-professional baseball team.
Wayne was a pioneer in the fine wine business in North Carolina, bringing his experience with California wines to the state after his marriage to Suzanne Mills of Wake Forest. In the 1970s he worked at Party Beverage Company in Raleigh and started a wine tasting group that was ground zero for fine wines in the Triangle. Alumni from that group are widely respected and went on to teach college courses, write wine columns, appear on television, and even founded The Wine Merchant in Raleigh. Eventually Wayne owned and operated his wine distributorship, L and K Distributing Company, named after his children Laura and Kristopher. His distributorship was small but groundbreaking and carried boutique wineries that were little-known here at the time.
Never abandoning his great love for baseball, Wayne shared his enthusiasm for the sport by volunteering to serve not only as a coach, but also a mentor for many kids who participated in youth leagues in the Wake Forest area.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday afternoon, April 23, 2016 at 3 o’clock in the Chapel of Bright Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. Bill Slater officiating.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Suzanne Mills Erskine; daughter, Laura Mills Erskine; son, Kristopher Wayne Erskine; grandsons, Jadon and Kai. He is also survived by several cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Eastern NC Chapter, 5510 Six Forks Road, Suite 107, Raleigh, NC 27609.
Friends may visit with the family from 1:30 – 3:00 Saturday afternoon April 23, 2016 at Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest, NC 27587. (919-556-5811)