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LCDR Wayne Hamilton Ledbetter, USN (RET.)


December 3, 1928 – June 5, 2023

In the care of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home

Wayne Hamilton Ledbetter, 94, passed away on June 5, 2023. Born in Douglasville, Ga to Miles Douglas and Lucille Ledbetter, early life highlights include high school football and semi-pro baseball. He married Betty Jean Gilham of Atlanta, Ga in 1950.

Wayne had two substantive careers. Joining the Navy in 1946, he rose from seaman recruit to LCDR, retiring in 1971. He had tours all over the U.S. and in Panama and Cuba, highlighted by his 2000 flight hours with VW-4 at NAS JAX, as command meteorologist flying into hurricanes.

While serving in the military, Wayne energetically pursued his education, earning a B.S. from Jacksonville University, M. Ed. from the University of North Florida, and Ed. S. from Florida State University. After his military retirement, he began the Ed White High School NJROTC unit, serving as its commander for 6 years, and later taught a variety of subjects, including social studies and science, while also holding a number of administrative and supervisory positions, in Clay County until 1990. He then served as an elected member of the Clay County School Board from 1990-1994.

Some of Wayne’s interests over the years were his charitable activities, his support of FSU Seminole sports, his many years as an advisor to U.S. Naval Academy candidates, his raising and showing Weimaraner dogs, and rescuing and breeding Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses, the latter two passions shared with his grandchildren.

Wayne is survived by his wife Betty (Gilham), his bride of 72 years; 4 sons, Doug (spouse Angela), David (Nikki), Steve (Carolyn), and Brian (Margaret); sisters Jean Coffee and Betty G. Ledbetter (pre-deceased siblings Don Ledbetter, Dorothy Leiker, and Mike Ledbetter); 6 grandchildren, Nathan (Amy), Lisa-Marie (Andrew Tarquin), Carl, Miles, Aiden, and Will; 3 great-grandchildren, Brian, Aya, and Moira (Tarquin); many nieces and nephews, and a host of extended family and friends.

A memorial service with reception to follow will be held on July 29, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Green Cove Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations in Wayne’s name to either St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, or a charity of your choice would be lovely remembrances.

Please sign the family’s online guestbook at

Arrangements are under the care of Broadus-Raines Funeral Home, 501 Spring St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-4000