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D. Dwight “Doc” Wait April 20, 1922 - November 20, 2018

Apr. 1922 – Nov. 2018
D. Dwight “Doc” Wait, born in Glenn, CA and emeritus instructor of Ornamental Horticulture at Modesto Junior College, died of complications of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Son of Thad Napier Wait and Emma Smith Wait, he was preceded in death by brothers Thad, Jr., Addison, Erwin and Jack.

A Naval veteran of World War II, he received his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Master’s from the University of California, Davis. His first teaching assignment was in Princeton, CA where he met Twila Jean Simpson, whom he married in 1948. Following a stint at Willows High School, he accepted a faculty position at Modesto Junior College in 1957 to create an ornamental horticulture program in the Agriculture department. He remained at MJC until his retirement in 1979. During that span he developed and authored a widely-used textbook for use in the horticulture and landscaping field. Hundreds of students continue his legacy as an educator and mentor.

Following the death of his wife in 2001, Mr. Wait and Arline Wortner shared their lives together in Ceres, CA, surrounded by acres of almonds and a bountiful garden and grounds.

Mr. Wait is survived by sons Gregory (Kathy) and Michael (Aprille); grandchildren Garrett Wait (Felina), Briana Kehoe (Tim), and Timothy Wait; and great-grandchildren Zane and Xander Kehoe.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Doc Wait Scholarship Modesto Junior College – Agriculture c/o Don Borges 435 College Ave Modesto, CA 95350 or The Camellia Society of Modesto, Barbara Bort, treasurer 2316 Glasgow Drive Ceres, Ca 95307.

A Celebration of Life for Doc will be held at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at the MJC Ag Department Nursery, 435 College Avenue Modesto, CA.  Relaxed parking will be in effect.  Please share your special memories of “Doc” on this website.

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  1. Susan Creedon says

    I have so many fond memories of Doc! The class would pile into the bus with Doc as the driver, off to identify plants, or complete plant or tree related projects. He was always smiling and never tired of having fun with his students. Many years later, I would see Doc and Arline, early in the morning, on their way to TEACH senior aerobics! He rarely slowed down; always had that beautiful smile. He lived a wonderful, full life.

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