ForeverMissed
Wayne Loui, beloved father, husband, grandfather, teacher, director, and friend, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 29th, 2021 from complications of COVID-19. He was 89 years old. 

Loving father to Anne (Andrew), Jen, Michael, Amy, Suzanne (Rob), and Kip (JJ), Wayne was the cherished husband of Tuck, who passed away nine days after him, on Feb. 7th. Her memorial page can be viewed here. Wayne also leaves behind eight grandchildren: Aaron, Benjamin (Katie), Tyler, Nicholas, Gwyneth, Marina, Meredith, and Max. His first great-grandchild is due in May.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wayne moved to Davenport, Iowa with his family and attended St. Ambrose College, where he met Tuck, who attended the nearby Marycrest College. The two were married in 1952. After being involved in the early days of radio broadcasting and television in Iowa, Wayne accepted a position in St. Louis, Missouri, where the family moved in 1962. There, Wayne would become known to the entire St. Louis theater community as a truly extraordinary teacher. His insight into movement, acting, and storytelling inspired hundreds of students over his decades spent at Saint Louis University and Webster University.

Loui’s dedication to the craft of acting and his integrity as a theater artist and “actor’s director” also leaves a legacy of many lives he has touched as a performer and director. He served as the Artistic Director of Theater Impact and as a founding director of the St Louis Repertory Theater, and he directed countless professional shows in St. Louis, especially for Insight Theater; in Colorado, for Copper Mountain Theater; and annually for 27 years in Maine, for the Acadia Repertory Theater.
Our hearts are with the global community who has been so deeply affected by this unimaginable disease.

Donations may be made on behalf of Wayne to the St. Louis theatre of your choice or to the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine (please contact art@acadiarep.com). Or show appreciation in your own way to your favorite actor, designer, director, technical director, producer, technician, stage manager, usher, box office manager, theatre manager, scenic artist and all others who contribute. After all, people make theater.

Wayne and Tuck's memorial mass and celebration of life occurred on June 12th, 2021. The memorial mass was held at 9:15am at St. Francis Xavier College Church (3628 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108). That afternoon, we gathered at 5pm at Kirkwood Park Amphitheater (the original home of Theater Impact!) for an hourlong memorial followed by a reception. We were so moved by the hundreds of people who were able to join us  to celebrate Wayne and Tuck's beautiful lives together.

For those who couldn't attend, you can view a recording of the mass here.
Posted by jen Loui on November 15, 2021
Today would have been Mom and Dads 69th Wedding Anniversary. In honor of their amazing and profound marriage, I want to tell you how they did it.
A few years ago I was having dinner with them at my house. Somehow we got talking about their marriage. They had remained deeply in love with each other for such a long time, through so many kids and careers - and I wondered how they did it. Dad looked meaningfully at Mom and got a quiet smile on his face. Mom looked at Dad knowingly. It was Dad who spoke first.
"When we got married, we made a promise to each other that if we ever got seriously annoyed or angry with the other, we would deal with it using humor."
They continued to look at each other, as if their minds were reaching a long way back, and they were finding something of beauty there.
Humor served them so well. All the way through. Even in the worst of it when age was taking their memories, or their ability to move like they used to.
Humor would be their answer to sustaining a loving life. They were both masters of it. And they would be so pleased to find out that this deliberate choice they made so many years ago would be of brilliant value to others.
Happy 69th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad. You continue to amaze us, teach us and make us proud.
Posted by Michael Bartz on March 7, 2021
I cherish the transplendant memories of being directed by Wayne, and of our raucous indoor handball games at SLU...oh those many years ago.
Posted by Barbara Webb on February 7, 2021
I first met Mr. Loui when he directed "The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd." What a presence, and brilliant man. Half way through rehearsals, we blew the fuses in the old law building theatre so badly we had to unplug the coffee pot, for the duration. I made coffee at home, put it in two big gallon thermoses and lugged it to the theatre for the rest of the run. Made sure he got the first cup every night. That started me on my 5 year journey of learning all I could from him. Still use it to this day. Godspeed, good sir. (I was Barbara Wolff, then)
Posted by Marina Henke on February 7, 2021
As a grandchild of Wayne's I have been so moved to see the hundreds of tributes and messages that have been written in honor of my grandfather. Below are many of those, posted on the Webster University Alum Facebook page.

We wanted to share them below so that we could all celebrate his impact and legacy together. If you'd prefer your message remain private to Facebook, let us know, and we can easily remove it from here. We're grateful to everyone who has written.

K Curtis Harris - He was an amazing teacher. I will ALWAYS remember him as a highlight to my acting education at Webster. My love is with you and your family.

Jerry Vogel - My absolute, all time, favorite teacher. He was skilled at so many things, it was inspiring and motivating. And simply a good man to boot. He will be missed. I know he was deeply loved.

Norman McGowan - I just got kicked in the heart hearing this. One of the best teachers Webster had. Very talented on many levels. Very passionate about theater and passing on what he knew. I would love to hear the conversation he and Cicely Tyson are having now. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Cynthia David - Mr. Loui as he was known to us in the drama department at Webster College back in the day was the world to us then, along with Sister Marita. He was a brilliant, innovative, wise and exiting teacher and director. I remember so vividly Theatre Impact, the company upon which the Rep was built, his Word Shows and his many beautiful productions and acting performances including Stop the World I Want to Get off, Take Her She’s Mine, etc. We loved him! Please give my love to the so lovely Tuck, the love of his life. I will try to come to the memorial. IT would be so wonderful to help celebrate his life.

Susan Gish - Wayne Loui was the best. Truly. He believed in me when so many others did not. He treated me with respect and I learned a lot from him. A very kind person.

Tyne Firmin - My sincere condolences to you and your family. He was such a gentle and kind man. The words you shared here are a fine and loving tribute to him. Many will hold him dear in their hearts, I know I will.

Nicholas Kryah - I first met Wayne in the late 60’s at Webster. He was a remarkable artist, but more importantly an extraordinary man. He’s touched so many.

Tom Wethington - Feeling so many emotions. I truly loved this man. His talent was surpassed only by his heart.

Mary Stewart - “If a man on a unicycle rode up to you right now and asked you what you were doing, what would you tell him?” He had a way of quieting the noise in your head and simplifying it to pure intention in the moment. Wayne was my 3rd year acting teacher in 1978-79 and the best teacher I’ve ever had. He was a wonderful human being. Condolences to his family.

Tom Gassner - Our acting class at Webster was lucky to have Wayne teach us stage combat as part of movement class. What was more educational was witnessing a man that loved his profession as well as his students. He was loved by all. Rest in peace my friend.

Kirby Wahl - My sincere condolences. Like so many others, I remember Wayne and his Shakespeare course as one of the highlights of my years at Webster. He was inspiring.

Nancy von Euw - I am saddened to hear this news. Your father was a wonderful teacher, a kind and wise man. My life was so much richer because of his words and his ways. I send the family peace and calm during this extremely difficult time.

Timothy Dunigan - Wayne was the best acting teacher I ever had. I also had the honor of working with him as our sword fight coordinator on “The Beaux Statagem” at the Rep. Perhaps one of the most perfect moments I ever had as a young actor. He was a huge influence on me as a man, not just as an actor. I’ve never forgotten him or the incredible person he was.

Louis Broome - I think about him often. What an amazing man.

Dottie Marshall Englis - Oh what a deeply gifted teacher and theatre artist he was… a big part of my first years in Conservatory. Rest in peace.

Buck Delaney - He was pretty fantastic. He directed me in Side by Side and through his persistence, I came to feel what he instructed and prodded me to get at. We worked several sessions privately and in regular rehearsals on my “getting wo what it means to me” to sing “I Remember Sky” to the point where the tears came automatically at the end and it was clear how much in common I had with the song. For that work due to his direction, I was nominated for the Irene Ryan award. He was so pleased as he puffed on his pipe and shook my hand heartily… those brilliant quiet types are few and say so much and can cake you feel like you CAN do it. Goodbye, sir.

Amy Maquire - I still have a little white polar bear that Margie R gave me to remind me of Wayne’s wisdom and it’s on my dresser still. A talismanic reminder of Wayne, his clear instruction, his humor, his kindness. I am so grateful he was in my life.

Mark Colson - Generous of spirit is what comes to mind then I think of Wayne. An amazing teacher and presence. He taught me much about being in the moment by his actions - Whenever we talked, the rest of the world slid away as he focused all his energy toward me. I felt like I was being fully seen and heard. And I know I was not alone - it was just his way.

Michael Ramach - I am so sorry for your loss. I use the tools that Wayne taught me every day! Not only a great teacher and director - but a truly. Wonderful person.

Milton Zoth - Wayne mentored me while I was in grad school at Webster then hired me to direct for SLU. HE was a master teacher and director. My prayers are with the family. Such a great man!

Posted by Clarence Walker on February 7, 2021
I'm "Clem" to Amy's family, and glad to say Jeanne was, and I am, proud to share a terrific daughter and three marvelous grandchildren with Wayne and Tuck. I am so touched to see now, far beyond what I previously tried to know, the wonderful family created and lived by these two supremely accomplished partners.
Posted by George Vafiadis on February 7, 2021
Wayne Loui. Like a wind out of the west Wayne Loui entered my life with the impact of Mark Twain. From substitute director at Tent at the Tower (1960 -Iowa) to Acadia Repertory Theatre until 1987 (Maine); Wayne was my oldest and sweetest friend and colleague. He shared his immense talent with all of us in Maine. He had an eye for talent and an acute concept of world theatre. Acadia Repertory Theatre was oh so richer because of him and my life.
Posted by EDDIE DEEP on February 5, 2021
In the fall of 1966, I was a Freshman at Webster College, studying music and theater. I attended the opening night of J. Robert Dietz's spectacular production of A Midsummer Night's Dream presented by the Repertory Theater at Loretto-Hilton Center (as they were called back then). Wayne Loui played two small parts in the production, Philostrate and the rustic who performs "Moonshine" in Pyramus and Thisbe. He had very few lines, but his performance was so hilarious, it brought down the house! I saw that production many times and it happened every time: he was a powerful force on the stage. I had heard about him and his fencing classes(!) long before I ever set foot in St. Louis. 

I had the opportunity to perform in Mr. Loui's production of Mister Roberts in December of 1966. It was an odd choice for a college that had been "all women" for so many years and had so few male students at that time (there is only one female role in the show). I had a small cameo role and he worked closely with me, but I realized many years later that I had no idea what my part was really about! Mr. Loui and I lived in the same neighborhood (there were no dorms for men) and sometimes he would see me walking to class and would offer me a ride. Riding with him in his VW Van . . . I was in the presence of magic.

And then he was gone. Off to some other institute of higher learning. So sad to see him leave, but smiling because of the gifts he brought us.
Posted by Paul Steger on February 5, 2021
I was but one of the many fortunate people to be inspired by the extraordinary human being and artist - Wayne Loui. A consummate artist and humanist, he welcomed all into his life and gave energy to the simple yet enormous power that exists in each one of us. He was a major influence in my life and career, and introduced me to many other artists. Fond memories of the aura of pipe smoke, the silent mime/movement classes in a dimly lit studio, the centering of body/mind through focused meditation, the joy and abundance of hard work and laughter. Who could forget those twinkling eyes? Thank you to Tuck, and the entire family for lending him to us. He gave us the artistic preparation and the scholarship necessary to work as professionals and instilled in us the desire to treasure every moment as a human being. For all, our thanks and heartfelt gratitude.
Posted by Bob Perkins on February 5, 2021
Aw, gee. Waking up to the news of Wayne's departure and now waltzing through sweet memories of being with him and Tuck and some of his clan at Acadia Rep. (And, wait, Tuck's name ISN'T Tuck?!? I vote she's Tuck.) He was simply one of the sweetest, kindest, dearest guys I've ever known or hope to know. Funny, since I only really spent time with him for a total of a few months. But I guess that's the mark of a transparently real dude.
I quoted Wayne just the other day when something I was working on needed to get done pronto. "Let's fly like a big-ass bird in a strong tail wind!" I don't even know if that was one his regular lines. But you can see what an impact he made on my youthful impressionable mind.
Wayne, sweet soul, thanks for being on this planet and gracing the rest of us mortals with your life-affirming self. If John Prine can get to Heaven and smoke a cigarette that's nine miles long, I hope you can smoke a pipe with a gallon sized bowl.
Posted by Amy Elz on February 4, 2021
I have struggled with what to say as I am so very sad to have heard of the passing of Mr. Loui. He had a such profound impact on me when I was his student. I remember sitting with him in his wee SLU office as though I've just left it, even though it's been many years since those wonderful days. He was a person with the magic ability to make the rest of the world go away when you were with him, the capacity to make you feel that nothing else mattered than what was happening here and now. That presence, that generosity, has guided me in the years since. Mr. Loui was the sort of person you didn't strive to impress, but rather someone you hoped was proud of you. He was, by far, my favorite teacher and his gentle kindness will never be forgotten. I am terribly sorry that he's no longer in this world, but I take comfort in the knowledge that his spirit - his wise and caring spirit - lives on in so many. I send my love and deepest sympathy to his family. His memory is, most certainly, a blessing and he will forever live in my heart.
Posted by Gerry Kowarsky on February 3, 2021
I have vivid, cherished memories of many Wayne Loui–directed productions, from a brilliant "Waiting for Godot" in the first season of the company that would become the Rep, to the Theater Circle Award–winning "Death of a Salesman" nearly five decades later. His remarkable artistry was a gift to us all.
Posted by Kenneth Stack on February 3, 2021
All of us in the theatre world up here in Maine are so grateful to have known Wayne and to have had the opportunity to experience his incredible grace, warmth and love. His work with the Acadia Rep brought joy to so many. And personally, I know that my life has been made so much richer because of our work together. 

Wayne... let us be sitting on the back porch in Bernard and have one last pipe full together.
Posted by Cynda Galikin on February 1, 2021
Designing costumes for several of Wayne Loui’s plays at SLU was always a great experience for me. He was the kind of director who allowed one to feel as though her work and contributions were not only appreciated, but respected. I always think of the kind, considerate, thoughtful manner in which he gave notes with encouragement and positivity. The lives of all who knew him are so much richer for the blessing of having done so...

Posted by Julie Layton on February 1, 2021
Ever since I was 19 years old, still his student at SLU, I've had a deep reverence for Mr. Loui. Being in his presence made you feel very special, as he spoke in his soft, low voice, surrounded by that warm smell of pipe smoke. He was wise, compassionate and attentive. He had such a wonderful laugh. "Rotten youth of America!" he used to lovingly exclaim at us lazy 20-year-olds. I can still hear his voice so clearly. In the decades since I've graduated, I would see him from time to time, which would always fill me with sheer delight. He was one of my favorites and it was a gift to have known him. I send all members of his family, especially my friend Amy, my deepest sympathy. You are surrounded by love at this heartbreaking time.
Posted by Gwyneth Henke on February 1, 2021
We've been so moved to receive hundreds of messages on Facebook about Wayne's life. We wanted to share them below so that we could all celebrate his impact and legacy together. If you'd prefer your message remain private to Facebook, let us know, and we can easily remove it from here. It means a great deal to read about the many people Wayne touched, and we're grateful to everyone who has written.

John Contini: He was my mentor, my idol, my friend. Sending love and prayers at this difficult time.

Samuel Dilorenzo: I am sorry for your loss. Dr. Loui inspired so many writers, actors, artists and dreamers over the years, including me. He made the world more magical and special. He will be missed and he will be remembered.

Ted Ibur: Your dad was a gem in the arts community and left such a positive, indelible mark on our city.

John Waldschmidt: Lisa and I first met in Wayne Loui’s acting class at SLU. Amy was there, too. Over the years, Wayne was my teacher, mentor, role model, father figure, therapist and spiritual advisor. He helped me quit smoking. But above all else, Wayne was an adored and loving father to one of our oldest and dearest friends and a beloved grandfather to her three sons. Our hearts go out to Amy and her boys and the entire Loui family. We share your grief and desperately wish we could be with you now. Rest in peace, Mr. Loui. Thank you for everything.

Carol North: Your dad’s legacy reaches far and wide. Thank you for sharing him with so many of us.

Beth Baur: Your dad was one of the most influential people in my artistic development. I am grateful for everything he did for me and for all the young people who had the privilege of being his student. He led with love. I am so sorry for this loss. My thoughts and heart are with you and your family.

Bethany Barr: My condolences at the loss of your Dad and great teacher and friend Wayne. I'm glad he lived so fully I got to know him as his student. He was always fully present and as years went on I realize now I have that still to learn, to be fully me in every situation. He was a compassionate teacher and I know now lived his life that way too. Peace and hugs!

Sharon Contini: Mr. Loui, a man who knew himself. No brag, just pure talent and pure spirit. What a great loss to the world but especially to his family.

John Lamb: Wayne helped me at a time that he could see I needed help, something I didn't see for myself until much later. I will always be thankful to him for that...and a hundred other things. Peace.

Julie Hickey: He was such a blessing. I was a mess in my college years and while faith was what helped me ultimately, I just felt unconditional acceptance from Mr. Louis no matter what. He was also a great teacher and met us where we were at.

Matt Harnish: The mime class I took with him freshman year at SLU has stuck with me more than literally anything else I experienced those four years.

Mark Asinger: Thinking of you and you family at this time...May your memories bring you peace.

Tom Wethington: I am so sad to read this, yet I am relieved to know he’s free of any more pain or suffering. He taught me so much...how to move...both on and off the stage. I dearly loved him as I love your mom, and I’m pretty sure he knew and felt that. He left this world a much richer and better place for having been in it. Rest in love and light, dear teacher and friend.

Kyle Keith: He was a great man, and true inspiration to me during my time in the SLU theatre department.

Anne Harvey Butler: What a great loss for your mom and siblings, not to mention every one who knew him. I’m so sorry for you all.

Liza Repaso-Horton: Love, love, loved your dad, who was extremely kind to me. Big hugs to all the Loui family.

Dave Stallman: I throughly enjoyed the few times I got to chat with your dad. He was the real-deal cool.

Lenny Zarcone: I’m so sorry you and your Mom and all your sisters have lost your great Dad in this circle of life we all must face here as souls in our human bodies on Earth. Thinking of you all with empathy, sympathy, and gratitude for the many years you all have shared as a family as he has lived to 89. It is such a blessing when our parents live this long and we get to share so many cycles & loving rituals of life together. Thinking of you all now and your Dad’s little grandson and wife too.

Keith Dudding: Condolences. I know your father mostly by reputation, which is formidable. Judging by the son he left behind, I'd say his life did the world a favor. Saddened to hear of his death, but cheered that he lived the way he did. Your family is deep in my thoughts.

Susan Hochlander: Rest in peace, Mr. Loui

Maggie Ryan: I loved him deeply. He was my inspiration and his goodness and great talent filled my soul. He gave so much of himself and his legacy inspires such hope for speaking the truth. He was a noble and humble visionary who led so many to understand the depth of what it is to be human. He was deeply loved and will be intensely missed. My condolences are with his family.

Janet Wilding: Our condolences. Your dad was such an extraordinary individual.

Tommy O’Connell Nolan: My deepest sympathies to you, your Mom, and your siblings. Your Dad was a Giant in my life and a Light for my heart and soul. What a blessing to have called Wayne Loui my Teacher, Director, and Friend! Love and prayers for all in The Loui Family.

Alice Katherine: I’m so sorry. I really liked your dad. He was really a great man.

Danny Glick: He had a very special “way” about him. May his memory be a blessing. XOXO

Ellen Horak Sartorius: I will always remember your parents as some of my parents’ closest friends. Every time I smell a pipe I think of your dad. Prayers to all of you and please let your mom know we are thinking of her.

Jeannette Batz Cooperman: Your father was so gentle, with that wry humor, and so smart—you all are! Please give my love and sorrow to your mom especially—I miss her!

John O’Brien: Wayne was a gem of a human being

Howard Schwartz: I am so very sorry for your loss... It looks to me that Wayne left us on his own terms and his own time...

Bridget Harvey Nations: I’m so sorry…what a great man!

Isaiah Di Lorenzo: Your dad is a giant, I love him so much. I'm incredibly grateful to have been his student.

J William McDaniel: I’m so sorry to hear it. What a force he was!

Jim Anthony: I am so sorry to hear this. He was such a sweet man. I admired him so much and feel fortunate to have known him. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Joseph V. Erker: He was a lovable man. And, I loved him.

Meghan Baker: I’m heartbroken to hear this. Your dad was an amazing man and he took me in as a student auditing his class at a time when I really didn’t know what my next step would be. His encouragement, wisdom and direction made a huge impact on me - as I know he made on the lives of countless others. May his memory be a blessing during this terribly sad time.

Jerry Vogel: He was special. Love to you and the whole clan.

Dick Wobbe: First saw him as Littlechap in STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF at Webster College in 1964 or 65.

Andrea Roach Dempsey: I am so very sorry to learn about the passing of your Dad. He was a multi talented, kind, and loving man who inspired so many of us, fortunate enough to have shared his time and interests. My sympathy to the Loui family.

Janis White Valdes: I am so sorry for this tremendous loss

Colleen Caul: I am so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. Wayne was an amazing human being and he will always be in my heart. Sending love and light to you and your family

Nancy Freer Sherwin: So sorry to hear this. My condolences to the family. He was one of the best, for sure.

Patti Garavaglia: What a WONDERFUL man! I will never forget doing the mime show with him when he was God and I was the littlest angel! I was so inspired by his talent and generosity!

Jim Wamser: So sorry for your loss. Your loss is shared by so many whose lives were better for having known your dad.

Jenni Ryan: What an amazing man! Brilliant director, lovely human.

Joel Bennett: Sad news for the entire Earth. I was fortunate to work with him in SCAPINO! at TPC. It was a very physical show and I banged my shin badly in a rehearsal. It was bad as far as these things go, and Wayne came over to see if he could help (I think he was always up for that). Through gritted teeth I whistled "Sure," although I had no idea how he might. He bent down and began stroking the air that touched my bloody shin. He worked it and I stood there, amazed as the pain began to vanish. When he stood up, I asked him how in the hell had he done that. He briskly explained about moving Energy and as I was leaning an arm against a Flat Backstage he said "Watch" and with a wave of his hand, my arm fell limp to my side. He was Beautiful...and had as much real Magic as any Man I have ever met.

Teresa Doggett: I have heard SO many stories about your father from former students it makes me sad that I didn’t meet him.

Michael Sullivan: I have never, and will never, forget the mime and acting classes I was privileged to take with Wayne Loui. While it was clear I had no plans to make a living as an actor, Wayne Loui made me a better lighting designer by teaching me see from the actor’s perspective. Flights of angels...

Bonnie Black Taylor: A great loss. Sending love and peace to you and your family.

Erin Kelley: What a dear, dear man.

Anne Walker: I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. He was such an amazing man. I have many fond memories of your Dad and the family. Thinking of you, Aaron, Ben, and Tyler, and the whole Loui family.

Alan Knoll: Words cannot express how sorry I am and much your Dad meant to us all. He was the best, one of a kind. But you know that. All our love to you and the whole family.

Tony Windler: My condolences to you and your family. I will always cherish the sound of his voice in my headphones.

Jennifer Joplin: I am so very sorry for your loss - the loss of such a good human, dear friend and talented artistic partner to so many. Our deep love to you and your family.

Andrea England Braun: I knew your parents slightly from “audiencing” with them a few times. People always surrounded Wayne and he surely knew how much he was loved. My condolences....

John and Kathy Dwyer: We are so sorry to hear this. We share your heartache, but also are grateful for having the privilege of your dad in our lives. Sending much love & many hugs to all.

William Roth: So sorry. A loss for us all.

Tom Gassner: So sorry for your loss. Your dad and Peter Sargent must be having wonderful conversations.

Kari Ely: My heart breaks for you all.
Posted by Christine Erickson on February 1, 2021
To place your trust in Loui's direction was like falling into a world of magic.
What a glorious mind.
Posted by Andrea Dempsey on February 1, 2021
The passing of a respected teacher, director and actor has stirred so many memories. Wayne Loui's great incite and creative energy was contageous, and working with him was a privilege that has influenced my life. My deepest sympathy to the Loui family, and to the many others that have called Wayne their friend.
Posted by Cheryl Havlin on January 31, 2021
So many epiphanies and teaching moments he would accent with "Guy de Maupassant" - and the flame or sparkle of his soul never left his eyes. And now he is called to the next adventure. Thanks, Loui family, for sharing him with all of us.
Posted by Matt Sciuto on January 31, 2021
My prayers and condolences to the family, especially to Kip. Kip was a talented and unique student in my early years teaching at St. Louis U. High. Talented, unique--he was a tribute to his family. Mr. Loui gave so much to the St. Louis theater world with his teaching, his theater involvement and his family. He lives on in the many he taught, performed for and loved.
   The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.                     - Dan Rather
Posted by John Myler on January 31, 2021
He was born on the birthday of the Bard.

“Good night, sweet prince,
and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
Posted by Tom Wethington on January 31, 2021
Wayne Loui had great influence on me, not only as an actor but as a human; so much so that I find it hard to even begin writing about him. Wait, I just heard his deep, rich bass-baritone, quietly encouraging me: “Thomas…just begin!”

Wayne was my stage movement teacher in junior and senior year at Webster College (now University,) 1975 through 1977. We had many good teachers in Conservatory, some professional actors. We had a couple who, well, lasted a year or less, if you know what I mean. This was a blessing in disguise. Wayne came to Webster’s rescue and to his student’s rescue when others fell away. He had this tremendous talent for reaching individuals, making everyone feel they were the only one in the room. His talent was surpassed only by his heart, his presence and his love for his students. He had this generous way of letting you know you had much work to do but that he was confident of your ability to do it. By his example, he taught us how to be good actors and good people. He was a consummate professional; focused and so calm that his class often felt like a refuge; he made us work hard but we knew we were safe there. From those two years alone, Wayne would have always been a vital force and lasting memory in my life; but there was to be more.

Again, cue the deep bass-baritone; “what happened after that? Tell the story, Tom!” Fast forward many years. In 2014, I auditioned for Insight Theatre’s Death of a Salesman, which would be directed by Wayne Loui. After all that time, I expected that I’d have to explain to him that I was his student so long ago. When I walked onto the stage, Wayne stood up in the darkened house and called out, again in those dulcet, almost sung, tones, “Tom, I’m so glad you’re here.” After 37 years! I’d felt I’d come home; there is no other way to describe it. Wayne cast me as Stanley, the waiter in the second act. Given the brilliant cast, I was thrilled to have this one good scene in Act II, but Wayne gave me another gift. Very close to opening, he gave me an extra scene. He asked me to stand as a pall bearer, of sorts, at the funeral. I just stood there during that exquisite, last scene (called ‘Requiem’ in the script,) and then I took Linda’s chair off, following her, Biff, Happy and Charley as they exited, at the end of the play. I was thrilled to be there; to have that extra scene with those superb actors, but I didn’t know why I was there! I asked him. He said, “Listen to the lines of the scene, Tom. Someone needs to be there for them. Stanley is one of the few good people in this play. He would be there for them.” I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so commissioned and purposed in a role before. It said so much about Wayne’s unique ability and his role as extraordinary storyteller, always true to the playwright.

I’m also a realtor. Just a couple of years after Salesman, I had the privilege to help Wayne and Tuck list and sell their townhome. They had lived there for a number of years and it was indeed a process and transition for both of them. They trusted and followed my suggestions. I worked with the family to help get the home market ready. This is when I began to see, know and love the complete and multi-faceted man that was Wayne. Someone apart from the teacher and director, this husband and father I saw, made the circle complete. I saw what made this great artist, a great person. He was the devoted husband of the lovely, sweetly kind and intelligent Tuck, the beloved father of accomplished children and an adored grandfather. I got to see all that and witness the great love that he and Tuck shared and created in their lives and in their family.

His talents went far beyond the theatre. He was a lover of great art and he ensured there were paintings and photographs everywhere (I mean everywhere!) in his home. Many of those photos and art pieces were either of his or his family’s own creation. I saw the many pieces of furniture he built by hand. I watched him make the brave transition to give up his woodworking tools; he knew exactly what he was doing; once again, leading his family and all of us by his example. It wasn’t all perfect…I recall several moments through contract and inspection negotiations…he’d roll those big eyes and say, “really, Tom?” He’d follow that with a wink and a smile and say “where do I sign?” We would do two more real estate transactions, in a very short period of time. With each transaction, I grew to know and love Wayne and Tuck more.

I feel a pain in my heart knowing Wayne is gone; I pray for Tuck and the children imagining the loss they feel. I am grateful for those early years and even more grateful for these later years; through all, he was a tremendous teacher and role model. He taught me (and countless others,) that we can be our best right to the very end. He taught us that art and love are closely and forever intertwined.


“Now cracks a noble heart.—Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

Posted by Dave Hilditch on January 31, 2021
I have happy memories of so many hours spent in conversation with Wayne at Wayne and Tuck’s lovely house on Marion in the mind 1980s through the early 90s And then again at The Boardwalk café at bimonthly breakfasts from about 2010-2017. He was one of those rare people who was able to give you his undivided attention - and who through active interest helped you understand what you were actually trying to say. Wayne’s intellectual interests were wide ranging and his creative spirit of inquiry and wonder in the face of this vast universe were inspiring to me. My strongest associations with Wayne are of warmth, a bodhisattva level of good will, and utmost emotional and spiritual integrity and wholeness. But I also remember him as someone who could easily laugh and who really savored simple pleasures, like sitting down with a cold beer and bag of corn chips and watching a Sunday football game. Or eating a farmer’s breakfast with crispy bacon. 
Posted by C K Nolan on January 31, 2021
When I picture Mr Loui, I hear a wonderfully deep voice, smell something called Borkum Riff(?) pipe smoke , see 2 beautiful twinkling eyes and a bemused smile atop a lithe and limber body. He attracted all of your senses. I’m proud to have been his student and a cast member of his shows. Now, may flights of angels sing him to his rest.
Posted by Mary Leb - Foster on January 31, 2021
Sending my deepest sympathy to the entire Loui family. Mr. Loui - such an incredible teacher. Thank you! So many memories. Love and peace to all from West Virginia.
Posted by Christine Muldoon on January 31, 2021
There will only be one great Mime in my mind and that will be Wayne Loui.

When in Mime class I could not take my eyes off of his face, hands and body.
Along with his other incredible talents, he will always be remembered by many of us who were lucky enough to have him as our teacher and mentor.

Rest in peace Mr. Loui.
Posted by Tom Radigan on January 31, 2021
A flood of memories come from many years ago that echo Wayne’s vitality and humanity. Christmas Eves, a little silver Airstream trailer, pipe smoke, deep voice, handball, inventive theater, window seats, laughter, a Maine cottage, donuts and coffee, stories of speed boats and hovercraft. Wayne was a keen observer who could change ordinary conversations, discussions, and theater productions into uncommon and memorable ones. His absence is unthinkable and his presence endures. My condolences to Tuck and the whole Loui family.
Posted by Alice Bergmann on January 31, 2021
Mr Loui was my beloved theatre professor from 1978-1982 at St Louis University. I cannot sufficiently describe the impact that his teachings had on my life, or how lucky I feel to have been his student. I marvel at how he broadened our scope in music, movement, and all of the arts. I recall his calm that soothed many an unsure moment in the creative process.
My heart is full for his wonderful family, as it is humbly full in gratitude for our teacher. 
Posted by Dennis Maher on January 31, 2021
I have been teaching all form of Theatre Arts for a half-century, but everything I know I have learned from the SLU faculty, especially Wayne Loui. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants, and Mr. Loui (I could NEVER call him Wayne) was such a giant. May his memory be a blessing.
Posted by Lavonne Byers on January 31, 2021
A St. Louis treasure. Mr. Loui touched so many lives and offered so much compassion and wisdom to those around him. A wonderful teacher and great theatre practitioner. My deepest condolences to Jen and the entire Loui family.  Listening to a little Claude Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal in tribute.
Posted by Michael Mansfield on January 30, 2021
Sending so much love and light and gentleness to all the family. In great thanksgiving to the time from 1978-1987 I was able to spend growing up with Suzanne Loui and taking classes from Wayne. I remember his performance in "Bent" at Washington University. A special chapter of time for everyone who was around St. Louis University in those days. Michael Mansfield
Posted by Edward Coffield on January 30, 2021
A true theatre legend. Love and condolences to the whole Loui family.
Posted by Kathy Keeser on January 30, 2021
Peace to a wonderful wonderful wise kind caring skilled person who meant so much to his family, to me and to so many. I will truly miss him and am so sad I did not get a chance during COVID to hear words of wisdom or get one of Wayne’s wonderful hugs. Thinking of all the Loui clan during these tough times. Love you all.
Posted by Barton Byg on January 30, 2021
Sending love and condolences to Tuck and all the Loui family.
Posted by Douglas Nieters on January 30, 2021
The man who taught me that we all can communicate in so many ways, each unique in the path to touch hearts and souls. Rest well dear mentor and teacher.
Posted by Nancy Sherwin on January 30, 2021
So many memories of Wayne and the family. I send you my condolences, and hope that you know how fondly he was held in the hearts of his students.
Posted by Margie Anich on January 30, 2021
So honored to have been a student of Mr. Loui's at SLU from 1981-1985. I learned so much from my time with him, and have such fond memories. He touched so many lives. My heart goes out to his entire family.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by jen Loui on November 15, 2021
Today would have been Mom and Dads 69th Wedding Anniversary. In honor of their amazing and profound marriage, I want to tell you how they did it.
A few years ago I was having dinner with them at my house. Somehow we got talking about their marriage. They had remained deeply in love with each other for such a long time, through so many kids and careers - and I wondered how they did it. Dad looked meaningfully at Mom and got a quiet smile on his face. Mom looked at Dad knowingly. It was Dad who spoke first.
"When we got married, we made a promise to each other that if we ever got seriously annoyed or angry with the other, we would deal with it using humor."
They continued to look at each other, as if their minds were reaching a long way back, and they were finding something of beauty there.
Humor served them so well. All the way through. Even in the worst of it when age was taking their memories, or their ability to move like they used to.
Humor would be their answer to sustaining a loving life. They were both masters of it. And they would be so pleased to find out that this deliberate choice they made so many years ago would be of brilliant value to others.
Happy 69th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad. You continue to amaze us, teach us and make us proud.
Posted by Michael Bartz on March 7, 2021
I cherish the transplendant memories of being directed by Wayne, and of our raucous indoor handball games at SLU...oh those many years ago.
Posted by Barbara Webb on February 7, 2021
I first met Mr. Loui when he directed "The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd." What a presence, and brilliant man. Half way through rehearsals, we blew the fuses in the old law building theatre so badly we had to unplug the coffee pot, for the duration. I made coffee at home, put it in two big gallon thermoses and lugged it to the theatre for the rest of the run. Made sure he got the first cup every night. That started me on my 5 year journey of learning all I could from him. Still use it to this day. Godspeed, good sir. (I was Barbara Wolff, then)
his Life

Won "Outstanding Director" in the 2015 St. Louis Theater Circle Awards

In 2015, Wayne won "Outstanding Director" in the 2015 St. Louis Theater Circle Awards for his production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman with Insight Theater Company. Death of a Salesman won five awards that year, including Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Production.

Started teaching at Saint Louis University

Wayne moved from his position at Webster to Saint Louis University, where he taught theatre and eventually served as the department chair. Teaching was always his greatest passion, one for which he had a tremendous gift. He taught classes in mime, acting, and directing, and he leaves behind countless students shaped by his legacy.

Moved to Saint Louis, Missouri

Wayne and Tuck moved from Iowa to St. Louis in 1962, with five kids in tow. Wayne took a job teaching theater at Webster University, and the family moved into a small house in Webster Groves. Their last child, Kip, would be born in St. Louis.
Recent stories

The Art of Directing - ala Loui!

Shared by Kenneth Stack on February 3, 2021
All of us have incredible memories of Wayne.  Each one is poignant, touching and loving.  And some are incredibly amazing and fun.  Few were privileged enough to be a part of his incredible production of CYRANO de BERGERAC at the Acadia Rep back 1n 1977.  If you were... you know how special that was!

One of the most enjoyable and spectacular experiences was also at the Acadia Rep... on the first blocking rehearsal for AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.  This summer stock theatre had 10 days to mount each production, and Wayne wanted to get the show on its feet ASAP.  So... he told everyone to sit down, grab a pencil and open their script to the first scene.  We did so.  He then knocked out his pipe.  Picked up his own, well thumbed script, and proceeded to walk through EVERYONE'S blocking for the first scene as we hastily took notes. And the detail was incredible.  Enter here, leave the door open, or closed.  Set down the suitcase here.  Refill the glass on this line.  Etc. Etc. Straight through to the end of the scene.  35 pages of text! Then Wayne re-packed his pipe, took a chair and said... "You do it".  With a collective gulp... we got up and proceeded to walk through the entire scene.  And each move worked... as he had planned it, and told the story perfectly.  Of course it did!  It was Wayne!  

What are your treasured moments of working with our dear friend?  And aren't we all so fortunate to have had the privilege to work with this wonderful person... who gave joy to so many!
Shared by Kevin Doyle on January 30, 2021
I was a lost business major when I enrolled at St Louis University in 1980. I took theatre classes and got hooked.  No longer lost, I decided I wanted to do what Mr Loui did and try to emulate his manners and approach (knowing I could never equal his artistry and skill). I have him to thank for a wonderful and fulfilling career as both a professional union actor and a university professor for over 30 years.  Fortunately I wrote and told him all he meant to me a few years ago. At least I didn’t let that slip away.  Thank you, sir. Thank you more than I can say.