Wayne Kernodle, Ph.D. ‘45

Dr. R. Wayne Kernodle, 100, professor emeritus, former head of sociology and anthropology, Heritage Fellow, recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award at the College of William & Mary, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters and the Honorary Alumni Award, died Friday, March 24, 2017.

A resident of Williamsburg since 1945 and of Williamsburg Landing for the past 17 years, he was born in Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 17, 1917, as the fourth of five sons to William Edgar Kernodle and Lena Florence McClean Kernodle.

He is survived by his wife, colleague and best friend of 72 years, Ruth Lynch Kernodle; son, Dr. Michael Kernodle of Boone, N.C., and his wife, Lou Ann; daughter, Dr. Kathryn Ruth Kernodle Loveland of Asheville, N.C.; granddaughter, Abby Dixon; and great-grandson, Rylyn Dixon.

At Brevard Junior College, he served as president of his freshman and sophomore classes and was a member of the varsity basketball and baseball teams. He transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology and Anthropology. He came to the College of William & Mary in 1945 as the first person appointed to the faculty following World War II, and in 1950, was appointed chair.

His research was published in a variety of scholarly journals and national magazines. He was a member of the original Corporate Board of the Williamsburg Landing and was a member of the Middle Plantation Club, serving as president. Wayne and his wife Ruth were co-founders of the Williamsburg Tennis Association and the Christopher Wren Life Long Learning Association of William & Mary. According to the Christopher Wren Association, “Wayne’s legacy includes establishing, with his wife Ruth, a lifelong learning program in Williamsburg that has enriched thousands of lives during its 26 years.”

Two years ago, at the age of 98, he co-authored and edited, with his daughter Dr. Kay Loveland, the book “The Last of the Rugged Individualists,” a compilation of stories about hermits whom he met and befriended over a period of 30 years who lived in the North Carolina mountains. He lived a remarkable life and was known for his kindness, creativity, storytelling and his firm stance that all people are created equal.

Throughout his entire life, he was a proponent for equal rights for women and minorities. He was a remarkable father who was kind, loving, generous and was “always there” when his children needed him. He was an avid fan of Tar Heel Basketball, reading, tennis and an occasional good stiff Martini at night.