Wayne Thomas Dance

January 5, 1941 - April 30, 2022

Wayne Thomas Dance passed away early April 30, 2022 while at home with family in Salt Lake City after a short fight with lung disease.

Born January 5th, 1941, Wayne was proud to say he grew up in East Los Angeles and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1958. Graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in 1962 and promptly entered the Naval Flight Officer Program. Early in his Navigator training, Wayne was randomly selected to attend Naval Justice School, a requirement for 1 out of every 35 officers in training. When training was completed in June 1964, Wayne went on to serve as a Naval Flight Officer in anti-submarine patrol aircraft (P2V and P3A Orion) in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, including the Gulf of Tonkin and two tours in Vietnam. Wayne later became a flight instructor teaching navigation and anti-submarine tactics at Moffett Field in Mountainview, California. In December 1968 Wayne was awarded the United States of America Air Medal for meritorious achievement. In 1969, after seven years, Wayne was released from Active Duty to attend Hastings Law School at the University of California at San Francisco. He continued his military service in the inactive reserves and was appointed to Lieutenant Commander as a reserve officer in 1971. In 1972 Wayne Graduated from Law school in the top 7 percent of his class with Order of the Coif Honors. From 1972 until 1983 he served as a Senior Deputy District Attorney for Ventura County, CA. In 1983 he was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Utah, supervising the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force for eight years with great success. From 1992 until he retired in 2007, as a federal prosecutor, Wayne prosecuted all violations in Utah of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. His nationally significant achievements in ARPA criminal and civil cases included numerous convictions. Because of his exemplary record in Archaeological resource protection cases, in July of 2000, Wayne received the Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service, the second highest Department of Justice Award.

Wayne will be missed on the golf course by his good friends Mike, Tom, Lon & Doug. He also loved hiking, a good bottle of wine, Univ. of Utah Football, his poodles Lyndie (decd.) and Pearl, and sharing his lovely home and yard with family & friends.

Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, Ida & Ben, and his brothers Wally & Bill. He is survived by his loving wife Ardys, sons; David (Dawn), Michael (Terry) and Chip (Natalie) and all his cherished grandchildren & great-grandchildren. We will miss you Poppy.

Guests are welcome to join the family in laying Wayne to rest on Monday, June 20, 2022 at 11:00 am at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Avenue and “T” Street, Salt Lake City. A memorial service will begin at 1:00 pm and a celebration of Wayne’s life will follow where everyone can gather and visit at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Guests are encouraged to use the parking on the north side of the building. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: www. UNrefugees.org or Best Friends Animal Society or www. bestfriends.org