Family, friends remember music teacher |

Family, friends remember music teacher

by Scott Neuffer

A local musician, teacher and shop owner who spent more than two decades spreading the joy of music throughout the schools and churches of Carson Valley died Sunday night at the age of 56.

A service for Gardnerville Ranchos resident Chuck Wayne has been set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Hilltop Community Church, 3588 Romans Road, Carson City.

“He was awesome, the best guy I’ve ever known,” son Matthew Wayne said Tuesday. “He was always there, always willing to help people. It didn’t matter where they came from; he’d just help people the best he could. He would never tell them no. He’d always find a way.”

Matthew, a 1999 Douglas High graduate and the oldest of three children, said his parents first moved to Carson Valley in 1986, opening Wayne’s Family Music out of their home at the time. A few years later, the shop was moved to the Haas Center in Gardnerville.

“I helped out around the shop when I was a little kid,” said Matthew, who still lives in Gardnerville.

In the early 2000s, the shop was moved back into the family’s Gardnerville Ranchos home, where “there were guitars and pianos in every room.”

“I’m going to miss everything about him,” Matthew said of his father. “I’m going to miss him

knocking on my door asking if I want to go out for breakfast. I’m going to miss him asking me if I want to see him play.”

Matthew said his father was in several bands, an accomplished musician by anyone’s standards.

“He used to play ragtime piano in Virginia City,” he said. “Besides Yosemite, that was his favorite place to go.”

Longtime friend Colleen Nestroyl remembered Chuck sowing the seeds of song in schools throughout the Valley.

“I was a substitute teacher,” she said. “I remember that he would bring the kids down to the cafeteria to sing.”

She said Wayne oversaw the student-member DARE band that played anti-drug songs at local events. He also left lasting impressions on several congregations.

“He’d play on Sundays at Hilltop Community Church, then he’d run down to play at the Episcopal church in Minden (Church of Coventry Cross), then Sunday nights he’d come to see us at the rest home,” she explained. “Every Sunday night he’d play the piano and do a little service for our ministry at Carson Valley Residential.

“He was a very Godly man. He loved the Lord and loved the community. He was always doing something for the community. He was such a wonderful guy, and we’ll miss him.”

Matthew said his father got a motorcycle a few years ago, which he attempted to ride everyday, snow or shine.

“Yosemite was the place he wanted to be. He always had a dream of moving there and making a life,” he said. “He’s being cremated, so that’s where we’re going to spread his ashes this summer.”

Matthew said his mother, Karen Wayne, had been married to his father for 35 years.

“They’ve actually been together for 40 years. They started dating at 15,” he said. “My mom is asking people to bring instruments to the service – friends, family, students – anyone who wants to play. He had about 40 students a week.”

Those wishing to make a donation in Chuck’s name or to help the family should e-mail Nestroyl at or Matthew at