Wayne Kernodle

February 17, 1917 - March 24, 2017
Wayne Kernodle

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Dr. R. Wayne Kernodle, Professor Emeritus,former Head of Sociology and Anthropology, Heritage Fellow, Recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award at the College of William and Mary; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, and the Honorary Alumni Award  died on March 24, 2017. A resident of Williamsburg since 1945 and of Williamsburg Landing  for the past 17 years, he was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on February, 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., his wife Lou Ann; daughter Dr. Kathryn Ruth Kernodle Loveland of Asheville, N.C., his granddaughter Abby Dixon and his 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 and Mary in 1945 as the first person appointed to the Faculty following WWII 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 and 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 twenty-six 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 thirty 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, telling stories, and an occasional good stiff Martini at night. A Celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, March 30th at 2 P.M. at the Williamsburg Landing Retirement Center at 5700 Williamsburg Landing Road in the Alvin P. Anderson Auditorium. Bring “Wayne” stories. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the R. Wayne Kernodle Endowment Fund in the Department of Sociology at William & Mary or to the Ruth and Wayne Kernodle Endowment Fund of the Christopher Wren Association. Online condolences may be shared at bucktroutfuneralhome.net


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  • March 26, 2017
    Ron Stewart says:
    My family lived on Prince George Street quite close to the Kernodles from 1944 to 1958. I can clearly remember Wayne, Ruth, Mike & Kay from 70 years ago. Their apartment was located between the Baptist & Presbyterian churches. It was not unusual on a Sunday morning for the Kernodles, the Brookes (another family living in the same building as the Kernodles) and my father to gather outside in an area between our apartments and enjoy manhattan or two (a Manhattan is an alcoholic drink). During one of these mornings the Presbyterian minister, Richard Grey, emerged from the church and informed the social group that their drinking was disturbing his congregations' singing. Wayne promptly responded that the congregations singing was disturbing the social groups' drinking. That is how I have always remembered Wayne Kernodle.

  • March 26, 2017
    Elaine Kute says:
    A century hardly seems long enough for your Father's accomplishments. He will live on Cs he will live on in the causes for which he fought, the discoveries he made and in what he taught and created. His works and acts will impact future generations. Your father's finite self as part of a larger something that endures. There are connections which will last beyond his lifetime and rippled down through time.Clearly he was a man of many talents interests and delights , just as you are Kay. Sherry and Elaine

  • March 27, 2017
    David G Sperry says:
    Mike Considering your Dad's legacy, anything I say will somehow feel inadequate. I believe I only met your Dad once-at your wedding in the late 70s. Despite this, over the past 35 yrs our biweekly conversations always seem to include whats going on in the lives of both your mom and dad so Ive gotten to know him much better through that.. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say. I look at what you've accomplished just since Ive known you and it's incredibly impressive. Just wanted you to know that your Connecticut connection has you, Lou Ann, your Mom and your sister in my thoughts and prayers. Dave

  • March 27, 2017
    Terry Meyers says:
    Not the least of Wayne’s foundations was the Wednesday Luncheon Group almost 70 years ago—until not too many years ago, Wayne would attend at least once near the start of the academic year. That is how I came to know him as more than a distantly admired senior academic leader when I was very junior here indeed. He was incredibly talented and accomplished, a wonderful raconteur, and a firm believer in faculty governance at W&M. All of us at the College and in Williamsburg owe him deep debts. I will miss him, and send Ruth and his family my deepest condolences…… I might add that Swem has several wonderful interviews with Wayne, including this account of his early life: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/bitstream/handle/10288/1652/OralHistoryInterview_15_12_2005.pdf?sequence=1

  • March 28, 2017
    Stephen Louie says:
    Wayne's curiosity of life was one of his most compelling traits. I was always honored when Wayne and Ruth would attend my classes at the Christopher Wren Assoc. in their lifelong passion to learn new things and expand their minds. There will only be one Wayne. His life is one worth emulating.