Cover photo for Wayne Clifford Defferding's Obituary
Wayne Clifford Defferding Profile Photo
1941 Wayne 2024

Wayne Clifford Defferding

November 9, 1941 — March 16, 2024


Wayne C. Defferding was born November 9, 1941 to Irma (Mickey) Mignon Defferding and Ory Defferding in West Allis, Wisconsin.  The family moved to Appleton when he was 5.  He attended Jefferson Elementary School, Wilson Middle School, and Appleton West High School.  He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Geology and obtained a Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University in 1974.

He was a Navy veteran   (1961-65) and after college worked for Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. where he met his wife, Bette (Elizabeth Hartig).  They were married August 30, 1969 in Minneapolis.  They moved from Washington to Valparaiso, IN for Wayne to attend law school.  In 1974 they moved to Appleton for him to begin his long career in the law department at Aid Association for Lutherans (now Thrivent) and became head of Government Relations.  He also opened his own law office finally fully retiring in 2003.

Wayne served on the Appleton Common Council and the Outagamie County Board of Supervisors for 10 years. He served on Appleton Redevelopment Authority as Board Chair, the UW Fox Valley  Board of Trustees, the Weiss Earth Science Museum Board, and many other community organizations. He was a long-time member of Appleton Downtown Rotary Club, served on its Board, and chaired its History Committee for many years.  In 2018 he was named Rotarian of the Year for preserving the Club's history.

Wayne was instrumental in forming "Fund 59" (the year he graduated from Appleton West) at the Appleton Education Foundation so that members of his class Could raise money for much needed Smart Boards for Appleton West High School classrooms.

In his younger years Wayne enjoyed running, biking, deer hunting and playing basketball. In retirement years he enjoyed wood carving, jigsaw puzzles and traveling with his wife and friends.  He loved his family and was particularly proud of his children, and grandchildren JJ & Izzy.

He is survived by his wife, Bette, their two children Kathryn (Katie) & Brian, grandchildren JJ and Izzy and great grandson Ky, his sister Judy Higgins (Georgetown, TX), nephews David (Houston, TX), and Chris (Austin, TX), niece Samantha Hartig (Minneapolis, MN).

Wayne's brother-in-law Rick Hartig preceded him in death in 2022.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date yet to be determined. Service details will be published at when they become available.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayne Clifford Defferding, please visit our flower store.


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