He was born in Wake County, son of the late Emily Rogers Merritt and Clifton Merritt. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He was preceded in death by Helen Thompson, the mother of his two children.
A memorial service honoring his life is Nov. 2, 2013 at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Bright Funeral Home.
Wayne is survived by his wife Julia Woodard “Ju Ju” Merritt; a daughter, Anna Maria Burkett; and friend Roger of Charleston, W. Va.; grandsons Christopher and Matthew Burkett; great granddaughter Kaitlyn Marie Burkett; son Stephen Wayne; Tamara Leonard Merritt of Wake Forest and granddaughters Lindsey Nicole and Chris Slaughter; Jessica Joy Merritt; great granddaughter Sophia (Sophie) Slaughter; sisters and brothers Nancy M. Kelly and husband James of Rolesville, Dr. James F. Merritt and wife Sue Wall of Wilmington, Linda M. and Edward (Sam) Self of Mt. Airy and William Merritt of Fla., one niece, four nephews, special nephew Clif Mangum and many other good friends, including Bobby Chalk.
Wayne was a graduate of Rolesville High School and joined the Army in 1960. After being discharged from the Army, Wayne worked at a few different jobs and retired at age 61 after a fall.