Longtime Mississippi journalist, congressional staff member, and governmental affairs consultant Wayne William Weidie, 78, died on August 15, 2019 at his residence in Venice, Florida. Memorial services will be held in Ocean Springs, Mississippi at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on September 5, 2019 at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home-Ocean Springs. A small service will be held prior in Venice, Florida at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Friday, September 23 at 10 o’clock in the morning.
Wayne was born on June 20, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to the late Alfred Edward Weidie and Dorothy McDonald Weidie. He and his family moved several times across the southeast United States before settling in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where Wayne graduated from Pascagoula High School in 1959.
Wayne attended Mississippi State University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1962, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. He then attended graduate school at Louisiana State University before returning to the family business in Pascagoula. From there he followed his passion of politics and journalism into the newspaper business when he and a group of partners purchased the Ocean Springs Record.
For twenty years, 1970-1990, he was publisher and editor of the Ocean Springs Record and the Gautier Independent. He also authored a syndicated column, “The Political Scene”, from 1972 to 1990, and served as a political analyst for WLOX-TV in Biloxi, MS, for several years. He was a past president of the Mississippi Press Association and the MPA Education Foundation Board of Directors. During this time, he covered numerous political campaigns and had a front row seat to Mississippi history.
His love of politics led to Wayne’s management of Republican Gil Carmichael’s bids for Governor and U.S. Senate. He was a graduate fellow of the Mississippi Institute of Politics at Millsaps College in 1975, which was followed by a stint as a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1976.
When Gene Taylor was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, he appointed Wayne as his chief of staff. Wayne served Rep. Taylor in this role until 2004, when he left to join the firm of Adams and Reese as a senior governmental affairs consultant in Washington. Wayne relocated to Jackson in 2008 to work state and federal governmental affairs, and for a period of time served as the firm’s governmental affairs practice team leader.
Upon retirement from Adams and Reese in 2014, Wayne resumed his journalism career with The Weidie Report, a blog in which he often made news and offered commentary in his own unique style on state and national politics. He made frequent entries on various issues until early 2019.
Wayne was a passionate Mississippi State Bulldog, and had a long, rich relationship with his alma mater. In addition to being a longtime season ticket holder in football, basketball and baseball, he served as a member of MSU’s Stennis Institute of Government Advisory Board. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Stennis-Montgomery Association, which continues to serve as a pipeline for students to enter careers in public service in Washington, DC. In 1993, Wayne donated his professional and personal papers from his journalism and congressional careers to MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library.
Baseball was a lifetime love of Wayne’s. He served as state chairman of the U.S. Baseball Federation and coached the Ocean Springs Blue Sox, an American Legion team comprised of college and high school players.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Alfred E. Weidie, Jr.
He is survived by his wife, Kim Wolford of Venice, FL, children Stuart (Ann) Weidie of Asheville, NC, Courtney Lea Carballido of Asheville, NC, and Kyle (Kai) Weidie of Brooklyn, NY and grandchildren; Emily (Ford) Willis, Jacob Weidie, Joshua Weidie, Isaac Weidie, Samuel Weidie, and Olivia Weidie.
The family requests memorial donations in Wayne’s honor to the Wayne Weidie Memorial Fund c/o MSU Foundation, PO Box 6149, Mississippi State, MS 39762 or www.msufoundation.com.
Toale Brothers Funeral Home in Venice, Fla., is in charge of the arrangements.