Waverly Lee Baskerville, Jr. age 64 passed away on March 13, 2012. Waverly Lee Baskerville, Jr. was born in South Hill, Virginia, where he lived until age seven, when he and his family moved to Newark, New Jersey. He was the eldest of four children, all boys! He accepted the Lord and for years was a member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Waverly went to Fredonia State University in New York, where he met and married Ruth Cheatham months later. Through their union, one child, Alicia, was born while they were still in college. Waverly and Ruth enjoyed each other’s company during forty-four years of marriage. Waverly earned a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Business Administration, working thirty years for top investment banking firms on Wall Street. He became First Vice President of Salomon Brothers, Inc. He served ten years on the Board of Education in Orange, New Jersey, and was President the year his daughter, Alicia graduated from high school. He was an officer in the Southern Acres Home Owners Association here in Windermere. Waverly was an avid collector of cars and African-American memorabilia, particularly Buffalo Soldiers and Black pilots. His mother, Lydia Baskerville and brother, James Sherman Baskerville preceded him in death. Waverly is survived by his wife, Ruth Baskerville, his daughter, Alicia Lankford, son-in-law, Bruce Lankford, father, Waverly Baskerville, Sr., brothers Larry Baskerville and Phillip (Angela) Baskerville, grandchildren, Bruce, Jalyn, Kennedy and Avery Lankford, along with a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends. A memorial service will be held at his home, 13449 Southern Way, Windermere FL 34786, on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM with Bishop Richard B. Lankford, Sr., Officiating from the Atlanta International Christian Praise Center - Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Ruth L. Baskerville
March 18, 2012
I saw this handsome, skinny soccer player walk across the college campus, and immediately fell in love. I heard those bells and whistles people talk of, and I knew I had to have this man for my lifetime partner. We married while still in college, had baby Alicia, left college with two diplomas and no milk for our baby. My father gave us a family Bible, in which he wrote that we were “The Happiness Kids” because we were so in love and so happy. Our home décor went from black lights and hanging beads between rooms, to a water bed with mirrors on the canopy, to the delicate balance between my love of silver and china, and Waverly’s love of Black pilots and cowboys, and enough leather horses to fill a small stable. While looking at family pictures to choose the best for a memorial collage, I saw that he had the Afro look to the bald look, wore the bathing suit and barbecue shorts to the black-tie tuxedo. We had a full life. Our first apartment contained less than a dozen pieces of furniture, and Waverly came home with a picture of a red Corvette, which he taped to the empty wall. I called him a “dreamer,” saying we would never have such wealth, but he had the determination and work ethic to make me a dreamer, too. Along our journey, he insisted that we reach back and mentor young people seeking a better life. He was as generous to family and friends as he was to himself. He took quiet pleasure in seeing others happy and productive. Many people knew that Waverly was a private, cautious man who was married to an adventurous woman. Few knew that the reason I soared before learning how to work my wings was that I always had Waverly to catch me. He was a strong taskmaster, pushing my career forward when I preferred to stay in my comfort zone. But each time I followed his lead, I did more, I had more, I WAS more. When we married at nineteen years old, I was uncertain of our future. Waverly wasn’t. Recently, I told him how exciting my life had been these past forty-four years because he kept things fresh and full of surprise. He responded by saying that I added the forty-four years of suspense we shared. Waverly was my life partner, my friend, my lover, my mentor. I can’t imagine sleeping in the bed without him or eating a meal without having light conversation with him. I retired last spring, and we had the gift of time together, day and night, for almost a year. God needed him before I was ready to give him up, so I accept God’s will. He used to sign the cards he gave me with “Darling, Forever,” so I’ll end my tribute to the most remarkable man I’ll ever know, with, “Waverly, Dear, You’ll be proud watching me continue to soar, this time reading the manual for wing spans and remembering the lessons you taught me. I’ll be fine until we meet again. Your Darling, Forever, Ruthie.”