Jake was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, May 30, 1928 to the late Julius Jennings “Jake” Wade and Mary Hamlin Landis Wade. Jake was a lifelong Charlotte resident.
Jake’s academic and professional leadership skills and service commitments emerged early and continued throughout his life. He held the following president positions: Alexander Graham Junior High School student body; Central High School sophomore class; Darlington School (Rome Georgia) junior and senior classes; Darlington School senior class Honor Council; Davidson College Monogram Club; North Carolina School of law legal fraternity Delta Theta Phi; Mecklenburg County Bar Association; Myers Park Homeowners Association; Mecklenburg County Davidson Alumni Association; and Davidson Athletic Foundation (Wildcat Club).
He served as Davidson 1950 Class Agent, Board Trustee for the North Carolina School for the Deaf, Board Trustee for Florence Crittenton Home, Mecklenburg County campaign manager for late governor Dan K. Moore, Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Civil Service Commission and Board Trustee of the Charlotte Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency.
Jake was a true competitor and leader on the sports field. He was captain of his junior and senior high school and baseball teams and a member of the Central High School Varsity State Champion football team. At Davidson College, he was a four-year monogram letterman in football and baseball and made a quite a splash with his 95-yard interception return for touchdown that allowed Davidson College to defeat N.C. State in football. He was voted into the Davidson Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
After graduating from Davidson College, Jake served as an active duty commissioned officer in the United States Army during the Korean War. He then graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill and began his lengthy law practice in Charlotte. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church and Charlotte County Club.
Jake was loved by hundreds of young ballplayers taking their cuts at the plate. “Got the right man up,” he was known to chatter and “get it next time,” if they struck out. For his years of service in youth sports, he was named the 1987 Sportsman of the year by the Charlotte Sporstman’s Club and awarded the 2010 Legacy of Coaching Award by the Mecklenburg County YMCA.
He coached the Harry and Bryant baseball team in Myers Park Trinity Little League for some sixty years and Jake Wade Field is named in his honor. The bronze plaque at the field is a reminder of his “positive influence,” his “contagious enthusiasm,” and his “optimistic attitude.” Jake will be fondly remembered as an athlete by desire, a gentleman by nature, and a friend to all.
Jake is survived by his beloved wife, Sara; his children James Hunter Wade, Julius Jennings “Jay” Wade, III (Cary) and Amelia Wade Worley (Mike); his grandchildren Malone Lockaby (Rath), Quinn Yi (John), Rebecca Carney Wade, Julius Jennings “Jake” Wade, IV, Abbey Wade Droege (Garret), SaraAnn Worley, and Stuart Elizabeth Worley; his great-grandchildren Ellington Yi, Winsley Yi, Adeline Yi, Henry Droege and Lennon Droege; his brother Hamlin Landis Wade (Julia); his brother-in-law and college roommate Dr. O.F. “Bo” Roddey, Jr.; and Jay and Pat Powell, his special “quasi-adopted’ couple he met while Jay was a Davidson College student. He was preceded in death by his sister, Carrie Maie Wade Roberts and husband James L. Roberts, and sister-in-law, Amelia Hunter Roddey.
Visitation will be at Harry and Bryant Funeral home, 500 Providence Road, on Thursday, January 25, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. A memorial service will be at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road, on Friday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m. A reception follows in the church Blue Room. Interment will be private.
Memorials may be made to the Autism Society, Davidson Athletic Foundation or Myers Park Trinity Little League.
Published in Charlotte Observer from Jan. 19 to Jan. 23, 2018