Wayne Allen Wetzbarger, MD, age 68, of Madison, South Dakota, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep on Friday, May 5, 2023 at his daughter’s home in Baltic, SD. Visitation will be 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Friday, May 12, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. A Masonic Service will begin at 1:00 PM and a Memorial Service will follow the Masonic Service at approximately 1:30 PM.
He was born September 24, 1954, in Sioux Falls, SD to Gates Wetzbarger and Pearl (Neuberger) Wetzbarger. He lived his childhood in Sioux Falls, attending Washington High School and graduating in 1972. He attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, where he majored in Biology, wrestled for the Augustana College Wrestling team and graduated in 1977. His passion for science led him to medical school at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine, where he graduated #1 in his class in May of 1981. Following his internship and residency in Internal Medicine through McKennen Hospital in Sioux falls, he embarked on a 41-year career as a board-certified internal medicine physician at Interlakes Medical Center (now Madison Regional Health Center). During his career, he also held positions at the VA Hospital and the emergency room at McKennen Hospital. He was a career long member of the national medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha, and this lifelong honor represented Wayne’s dedication to his profession. Wayne was a meticulous and brilliant physician who cared deeply for his patients and loved to teach. He was an instructor of ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and countless medical students, residents, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants owe their internal medicine knowledge to Wayne’s passion and strength in teaching. He retired, kicking and screaming, from Madison Regional Health System in December of 2022.
Wayne married the love of his life, Kimberly Jo Jamison, on May 23, 1981 and built a life they loved in Madison, SD. They were blessed with their daughter, Kelly Jeanette, in 1983 and their son, Brenden Allen, in 1986. The family were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison where Wayne loved singing with the Celebration team and looked forward to the Watch the Lamb Cantata every Easter season. Wayne was a member of the Twin Lakes Shrine Club and volunteered his time with the “Popcorn Crew” every year for the Shrine Circus.
Wayne’s most cherished role in life began in 2016 with the birth of his grandchildren, Logan and Leighton. That role grew in 2021 with the birth of his granddaughter, Michela. He was anxiously awaiting the birth of Michela’s baby brother or sister in September. The love and pride Grandpa Wayne expressed for his grandchildren daily was immeasurable.
Wayne enjoyed, over anything else, spending time with his family. He loved FaceTiming as often as possible with Michela (and her mom and dad of course). He enjoyed camping, fishing and you could often find him by his grill in the summer. He looked forward to opening pheasant weekend in October or hunting “Wayne-deers” (scouting from his Suburban blind) in November. He also enjoyed his golf league on Wednesday nights and the comradery he found with the friends who joined him. His quiet times at home or in Baltic were often interrupted by little voices requesting to play “lions and buffaloes”, Connect Four, “The Soccer Game” or one more round of Memory and like any good grandpa, he wouldn’t often win.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Kim, his daughter, Kelly LaValliere, her husband Rory, their children, Logan and Leighton, all of Baltic, SD; his son, Brenden Wetzbarger, his wife, Valerie, and their daughter, Michela, all of Panama City, Fl; his siblings and in-laws, Tonya (Greg) Hoff of Sioux Falls, SD, Dale (Donna) Wetzbarger of Longmont, CO, Patricia Oren of Sioux Falls, SD, and Catherine (Dan) Griffith of Sioux Falls, SD, Scott (Rosie) Jamison of Madison, SD, and Todd (Elizabeth) Jamison of Kennesaw, GA and his many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gates and Pearl Wetzbarger, his mother-in-law Muriel Jamison, his father-in-law Robert Jamison, his brother-in-law, Dale Oren and his beloved kitty, Gracie.
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