Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

October 6, 2013

Wayne Waggoner addresses alumni breakfast

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Approximately 90 Centerville High School alumni gathered at the Continental Friday morning for the 2013 Homecoming alumni breakfast.

The featured speaker was Wayne Waggoner, who was given the CHS 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award during Homecoming Pep Chapel Friday afternoon.

Waggoner, who was born in 1929 in Centerville and raised here, said he left the farm in 1951 after having dreams of becoming a farmer. Those dreams didn't materialize, he said, because he lacked patience and had an abundance of imagination and dedication.

"I really wanted to be a farmer," Waggoner said. "I wanted to be a farmer so bad and I wanted to own lots and lots of machinery."

In 1951 Waggoner started a trucking company with one truck called Waggoners. He hauled eggs from his parents' egg hatchery located in Centerville.

A few years later, Waggoners began hauling oversized and heavy equipment and by 1968 the business had grown to 35 trucks. The company branched out to haul products like lumber and grain and began to offer flatbed and less-than-load services.

In 1987 Waggoners Auto Transport Division was launched and it grew to become its number one service.

Now Waggoners is the largest family-owned, non-union car hauling company in the United States. Today, Waggoners Trucking has a fleet of more than 800 trucks on the road, more than 40 locations with approximately 1,000 employees.

Waggoner praised his parents and how proud he was of what they were able to accomplish. His mother came from Omaha, Mo. and his father was from Exline.

"Boy, they were great folks," he said. "I just can't imagine what that couple did in their lifetime. There is no person in the world more proud of than I am of mom and dad."

Two of the most important things a person possesses are friends and reputation, he said. But it doesn't hurt if you have good health, also.

"And then you get to really feeling lucky if you're one of the human beings that happen to be healthy," Waggoner said. "I didn't have anything get in my way. I was pretty healthy."

At one point Waggoner said he regrets leaving Centerville. He said he should have stayed here with the people he knew, loved and grew up with.

"I am so proud, really proud, of the people who stayed in Centerville," Waggoner said. "You've got so many, many wonderful opportunities here."

Waggoner and his wife Beth have been married for 63 years.

Waggoner's oldest son David is a partner in the family business.

Jan Spurgeon, Centerville mayor, open the breakfast with a few words. She thanked the CHS alumni for allowing a non CHS alumni to speak to them.

Spurgeon said her goal is to bring people together and take our differences and turn those into positive experiences. She said she sees hope emerging on the horizon for our country and community.