Francis Marion “Buddy” Wakefield

May 26, 1923 - September 23, 2015
Francis Marion “Buddy” Wakefield

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Francis Marion “Buddy” Wakefield, 92, of Williamsburg, VA gently passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 in his home in Colonial Heritage. At the time of his passing, Eva Mae Hebert Wakefield, his loving wife of 70 years, was at Buddy’s side and he was surrounded by his family. Buddy was the son of the late James Frederick and Dolly Wakefield.  In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Mae Rose Wakefield, his brother, Frederick Wakefield, and his son, Frederick Denton “Denny” Wakefield.

Buddy was born on May 26, 1923 in Chattanooga, TN but he always considered himself a Texan. He served in the Coast Guard during World War II. He met Eva at a USO dance in Texas and married her in 1945. Buddy was a survivor of the Texas City Blast in 1947.  In 1951, he moved his family to Yorktown, VA where Buddy helped build the Amoco Refinery. He worked there for 33 years as Fire Marshal and Instrument/Mechanical Manager. Buddy also taught firefighting at Texas A & M for 36 years. He was a 32o Master Mason and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in La Marque, Texas.  Buddy loved children of all ages and lived a life of service to youth in Boy Scouts, Church Youth Fellowship, Job’s Daughters and the Order of Demolay.

Music was Buddy’s passion. He played in several musical groups and clubs on the peninsula and in Williamsburg. Everyone knew Buddy as the “Harmonica Man.” Over the years, he gave away over 6,000 harmonicas.  He taught harmonica to youth and adults alike to help improve breathing problems. He started “Better Breathers” support groups in several hospitals in the area and surrounding states. This program spread across the US and to several countries around the world.

In addition to his wife, Eva, Mr. Wakefield is survived by his daughter, Jerry W. Henderson and husband, John of Williamsburg, VA, his granddaughter, Karen Henderson Hamilton of Aston, PA and his grandson, Joshua Denton “Denny” Henderson and his wife Maura of Berwyn, PA.  He leaves three great-grandchildren to cherish his memory; Zachary Ross Stiffler and twins Hunter Edward and Holden Coburn Henderson. The family wishes to thank Gentiva Hospice program for the loving care they gave to Buddy in his final days.

The Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on October 3, 2015 at Bucktrout Funeral Home in Williamsburg.  A Reception and time of fellowship will immediately follow the chapel service, also at Bucktrout Funeral Home. If you were so blessed to receive one of Buddy’s harmonicas, please wear it to the service in his honor.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Dr., Suite 1150, Chicago, IL, 60601,, Colonial Heritage Community Foundation, P.O. Box 12, Norge, VA 23127, and/or the Sentara Volunteer Group,  Please note in memory of Mr. Francis “Buddy” Wakefield.

Bucktrout Funeral Home of Williamsburg, VA is entrusted with arrangements for the Wakefield family.


Saturday, October 3, 2015
2:43 PM

Bucktrout Funeral Home - Directions
4124 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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  • September 29, 2015
    Debi Hardin says:
    Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss…my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Buddy was truly one of a kind, he will be deeply missed. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

  • September 30, 2015
    Bud and Barbara Boblink says:
    My sympathies to the family of Buddy, He was a wonderful giving man and a good friend. He will be missed very much, especially be all his friends in the harmonica world. Our prayers are with his family.

  • September 30, 2015
    Alice Allred says:
    Buddy was a wonderful spirit. He had such a light about him. I met him when I worked at Colonial Heritage. He will be missed. My sympathies to his family and friends.

  • September 30, 2015
    Heather Celli says:
    Love to all of you. Buddy's warm smile, generous heart, and pursuit of his passion inspires me. We all miss him dearly and I am so grateful his enormous legacy will live on. Love, Heather

  • October 01, 2015
    Jim Knaub and Paula Lewis says:
    I had the pleasure of knowing Buddy for nearly forty years, and throughout that span, had so many cherished memories through innumerable family gatherings. He was truly one of the kindest, loving men I have ever encountered. He had the ability to light up a room, while at the same time, deflect attention from himself and praise others. Paula met Buddy a few years ago. She thought Buddy was one of the kindest, fun-loving men she had ever met in her life, never forgetting the special harmonica he presented to her. Buddy will truly be missed equally as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Hallmark of his community. Rest in peace Buddy.