Wayne E. Becraft, 74, of Laurel, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, January 11, 2019. He was born in Laurel on May 7, 1944 to Harry Becraft and Edith (Sellers) Becraft and lived in Laurel his entire life, where he graduated from Laurel High School.
Wayne was a loyal and active member of the First United Methodist Church of Laurel, where he and his beloved high school sweetheart Nancy Feick were wed in 1964. Wayne and Nancy were Sunday school teachers together, youth group leaders, and have remained continuously active in the church community ever since. Wayne served as Chairman of the Administrative Board, as well as Chairman of the Council of Ministries, and was a member of Methodist Men.
He graduated from the University of Maryland College Park, and later completed his Master’s Degree through the University of Maryland University College. His love for the power of education followed him throughout his life.
Wayne began his career at the University of Maryland University College, where he rose to the level of Director of Admissions and Registrations, before becoming Associate Director and eventually Executive Director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). He also held positions as the Executive Director of The American Physical Therapy Association of Maryland, and was the Associate Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. His true passion showed when he became a Realtor with Long & Foster. In partnership with Nancy, he delighted in showing his treasured clients around his beloved hometown of Laurel, as well as surrounding areas throughout Maryland.
Spending time with family was important to Wayne, and he enjoyed playing cards and board games at the dining room table with family and friends, movie dates with Nancy and the grandkids, and vacationing at Disney World and Ocean City, Maryland among other places. He especially enjoyed spending time with his church community, and was well-known in Laurel for his many volunteer efforts, including Side by Side, a faith-based nonprofit organization that works to mentor elementary school youth. He also gave some of his time to Winter Shelter every year.
Inspired by the passing of their daughter Michelle in 1990 at age 22 from an inoperable brain tumor, Wayne and Nancy have sponsored a scholarship in Michelle’s memory, which has been awarded annually since her passing, to a Laurel High School student that exemplifies Michelle’s school spirit. They have also been organizers and participants for the past 20 years in the Relay for Life of Laurel, which benefits the American Cancer Society.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Edith Becraft, and his cherished daughter, Michelle, and is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Nancy, their son, Jeff Becraft of Ellicott City, and his wife Suzette (Burton) Becraft and their children, Spencer, Grace and Evan; and Mark Becraft of Jessup, and his wife Sheri (Diller) Becraft and their children, Sean and Rebecca.
Visitation will be on Thursday, January 17 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM at the Donaldson Funeral Home, 313 Talbott Ave, Laurel, MD 20707.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 18 at 11 AM at the First United Methodist Church of Laurel, 424 Main Street Laurel, MD 20707.
Interment will follow at Union Cemetery, 3001 Spencerville Road (Route 198) Burtonsville, MD 20866
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Michelle Becraft Scholarship Fund, c/o Laurel High School, 8000 Cherry Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707 or to the First United Methodist Church of Laurel, 424 Main Street, Laurel, Maryland 20707.