Brenau Mourns Passing of Wayne Dempsey

Wayne Dempsey
Wayne Dempsey, former executive vice present and CFO at Brenau, shakes hands with Brenau Trustees Jim Moore and Jim Walters during his retirement reception February 21, 2013.

We are saddened to report that Wayne Dempsey, the former executive vice president at Brenau, died Friday morning in Rome, Ga., after a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family. Update will publish other details as they are available.

“Dr. Wayne Dempsey was one-in-a-million, a life-long good guy, a dedicated educator who cherished his students, and a loving father and husband who adored and nurtured his family,” said Brenau University president Ed Schrader. “I worked with Wayne for almost 15 years as a colleague and friend. We worked together, travelled together, and spent time on holiday together. Being with Wayne was always fun and rewarding, whether we were working or playing.”

Dempsey served at Brenau as the university’s top financial officer from 2005 until his illness forced his retirement in 2013. Although he and his wife, Marsha, returned to Rome, where they both grew up, after retirement, the gregarious and always cheerful Dempsey had become a fixture in the Gainesville community.

“Within six months, Wayne knew more about Gainesville and its people than a native,” said Schrader. “He made friends everywhere he went.”

He was a board member of the Northeast Georgia History Center and the Gainesville Symphony, among others. He loved music and loved to sing. He also played French horn in the orchestra at Gainesville’s First Baptist Church.

“Wayne’s presence was a blessing to so many,” said Pete Miller, chair of the university Board of Trustees. “Brenau University is certainly better off for his dedication, his love and his persistence in making sure the right things were done right the first time. Wayne was a man of character and integrity, and I feel blessed that he was a part of my Brenau and personal journey. Both Cathy and I will miss him. He is now in God’s hands and that is a good place to be.”