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Wayne Naillon will be remembered on the forest trails he loved most

Posted by on December 13th, 2016 at 9:17 am

Wayne Naillon in a familiar pose.(Photo courtesy Dale Latham)

Wayne Naillon in a familiar pose.
(Photo courtesy Dale Latham)

When Wayne Naillon chose to end his life back in May, the region lost one of its most dedicated cycling advocates. Now his name will remain connected to the places and trails he loved thanks to funds created in his name by friends and family.

From Cycle Oregon to Sunday Parkways — and from the Wilson River Trail to the Crown Zellerbach Trail, Naillon donated hundreds of volunteer hours during his lifetime. He had a special place in his heart for off-road trails and was a regular volunteer with the Northwest Trail Alliance. Wayne was also a BikePortland subscriber who I first met while doing a trail maintenance event in the Tillamook State Forest in 2005 (a fact he reminded me of last year in a comment he left on a story about the Wilson River Trail).

Last week we heard from Wayne’s friend Dale Latham with details about how he’ll be remembered:

We are honored with the huge support we have received in Wayne’s’ memory. This includes:

1. A donation of $2,500 by Lenore LaTour to the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust in Wayne’s memory. The trust plans to place a log bench in Wayne’s honor on the Wilson River Trail.

2. A donation of $3,000 to Kinship House by the Windermere Foundation on behalf of Lenore LaTour. Kinship House is a Portland non-profit that provides out-patient mental health services to children and their families. Kinship House plans to name a therapy play room in Wayne’s honor. Lenore was a friend and neighbor of Wayne’s and did an outstanding job of selling his Irvington home for his estate. She is donating a portion of her commission from Windermere Stellar in Wayne’s memory. This donation is especially meaningful to the people who knew Wayne as a life-long professional in mental health and advocate of disadvantaged youth. Wayne cared for over 60 foster kids out of his Irvington home after graduating from college and finished his 40 year career as a counselor for Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services.

3. Over $6,000 in donations from many of you, friends and family, to the Wayne Naillon Trail Fund at US Bank. We will be spending that money to support trail maintenance on the Tillamook State Forest and Crown Zellerbach Trail in Columbia County.

4. The Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust is in the process of creating a tax-deductible Tillamook State Forest Trails Fund in Wayne’s memory. The fund will be used for planning, design, construction and maintenance of trails on the Tillamook. The Trust plans to have an account at US Bank established by December 16, in case you are interested in a 2016 donation. Contact Dale Latham for more information at

Wayne was a great person who lived much of his life in service of others. We’re grateful that his name will live on in the forested places he cared so much about.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    Dick Button December 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

    It is sad when anyone takes their own life, but I love the way you honored his decision with your word choice, Mr. Maus.

    If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, you can call the organization below 24/7 365 and speak to someone who will listen.

    Portland & Multnomah County Crisis Line
    Multnomah County Department of Community & Family Services
    (503) 988-4888

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      highrider December 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      It’s better than rotting and fading away in the I.C.U., reduced to a helpless mass with tubes coming out all ends. I saw my father and great uncle go this way- big, strong, hard working men humiliated by our need to squeeze every drop of life out of a sick body. When it was my grandfather’s time he O.D.’ed on pills. I’ll consider it good luck if I can take my own life if I know it’s the endgame. It sounds like Wayne went to find a little peace- may he rest now in peace.

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    ElPana December 13, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Wayne was a great man, I had the honor of building trail with him several times and he was always at the NWTA meetings!! Hope that he found the rest that he was looking for. Remember people if you have suicidal thoughts talk to someone don’t let it build inside!! Get some help!!!
    As Bien Y no mires a quien!!!

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    Fred December 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Wayne was a great man. I was shocked to learn at his service at just how many lives he touched and in so many positive ways. He will be remembered. He was one of a kind.

    Thanks for getting me involved in so many things in the Tillamook Forest and appreciating what a resource we have out there Wayne. So glad that his efforts will live on through these donations.

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    Brian December 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Such a great guy. To honor him and his tireless effort I want to build a technical feature somewhere on a trail in the Tillamook Forest and call it, “Naillon It.”

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    Chris December 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Wayne was a very warm and humorous person and a great advocate for biking trails and conservation in the Tillamook State Forest.

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    rainbike December 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    “There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” David Eagleman

    I didn’t know Wayne, but my sense, and my hope, is that his name will continue to be spoken amongst friends and that his spirit will persist.

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    Dale Latham December 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I want to thank Jonathan for his kind words and also clarify the circumstances around Wayne’s death that may not be known by some readers.

    Wayne’s was diagnosed with extensive lung cancer in February, about 3 months before he took his life. It had apparently already spread to his stomach, esophagus, throat, skin and brain. Wayne immediately began chemotherapy and by mid-April began palliative care after his doctor told him the cancer was incurable.

    Wayne was in considerable discomfort and pain when he disappeared in late April, but never told anyone about his condition, including his family or his closest friends. Wayne’s friendly and caring nature toward so many people was apparent. But he also valued his privacy, in part, I believe, because he did not want to alarm or sadden the people he loved. In fact, Wayne looked back on his good life with gratitude. He expressed love for his family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. He clearly loved the people who shared his love of the Tillamook and the forest trails of Oregons quiet northwest corner.

    Wayne owned and loved guns all of his life. They were part of who he was. He also believed he had the right to control his own life. He was thinking clearly and full of gratitude in late April when he disappeared.

    I know these things because Wayne kept a diary from mid-March until he disappeared. It is full of gratitude and appreciation, along with the heart-breaking details his cancer and his determined efforts to treat it. It appears he wanted his family and closest friends to read it. It has given me a sense of understanding and some closure. Although I had hoped to maintain Wayne’s privacy, I hope this information gives others some peace and sense of closure as well.

    I hope you will join me and contribute whatever you can afford to the Tillamook Heritage Trust in Wayne’s memory.

    Best wishes,

    Dale Latham
    Friend of Wayne’s

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      JeffS(egundo) December 14, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks, Dale, for explaining that about Wayne. He was the clearest thinker I’ve ever known, not in the least given to illusions about life’s manifold deceptions. His choice for making an exit, and the courage that entailed, exemplifies this.

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    Kittens December 14, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Absolutely touching. Thank you for sharing, Dale.
    And thank you JM, for honoring those who have given back to the community. It makes the world seem a better place.

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    I wear many hats December 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I’ll always remember the passion, the energy, and the enthusiasm Wayne provided to our community. He is sorely missed. RIP.

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    Dan Kaufman December 23, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Wayne cared deeply about “The Tilly” as he called it. He had deep knowledge and energy about/for the forest that will truly be hard to replace.

    The Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust now has the fund mentioned above setup. It is starting with $50,000 donated from a close friend of Wayne’s and is receiving more contributions.

    “This donation, and others received for the fund, will be used to support recreation management activities on state forests, and to create an endowment that can serve as a sustainable source of funding for recreation system maintenance and volunteer support. This generous initial contribution is being offered as a challenge grant, with the hope that others with a desire to honor Wayne’s legacy, and support state forest recreation programs will come forward to help match this donation. The Trust is a 501 (c)(3) organization and all contributions to the fund are tax deductible.”

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