When Norma and I, and our two sons, Andrew and Peter, moved to Southern California in June of 1982, one of the first people we were introduced to was Sydney (Syd) Wakeling, a fellow Brit who was born on September 5, 1929, in East Ham, London, and later lived in the Essex town of Southend-on-Sea.
Syd had moved to the United States many years before us and was a co-founder of a large accounting firm in Southern California as well as a board member of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
It wasn’t long before Syd became our personal accountant and also one of our closest friends and advisors. His gentle spirit and wise counsel was used of the Lord when we first began ASSIST Ministries more than 20 years ago, and later he joined our board for several years and was our treasurer. He also faithfully served on the board of the Long Beach Rescue Mission for many years.
Whenever we needed advice, Syd was always available and helped us in so many ways.
I never heard him once utter a critical word about anyone, and when he found out he had terminal cancer, he bore it with such a wonderful spirit, which was typical of this gentle follower of Jesus Christ.
Syd, and his wife Florence, had lived in Long Beach for many years and he confided in me one day that he was thinking of moving to Orange County to be closer to his son. The couple did eventually make the move and he spent his last few months living in an assisted care facility in Laguna Hills being take care of by his loving wife. He also led a regular Bible study there for the other residents.
Now has come the news that Syd, who was 80 years old, passed away at his home on Sunday, June 20, 2010, after suffering for some time with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.
Syd Wakeling was a man of great integrity who loved God with all his heart and will be sorely missed by his many friends and family. He is survived by his wife, Florence; daughter, Debi Lerma (Rich); son, Dave (Julianna); grandchildren, Ashlie Raymer (Danny) and Brendan and Logan Wakeling. Syd was preceded in death by his grandson, Garrett Lerma
A celebration of his life will be held this Friday (July 2, 2010) at 1:30 p.m., Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
Dan Wooding, Assist News Service