Steve Waddail, Troy University’s card access and CCTV technician, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at age 64, due to natural causes associated with his diabetes, according to Herbert Reeves, dean of student services.
Many students frequently referred to Waddail as the “key fob guy” because his office inside Shackelford Hall served as the prime location for new students to get their key fobs for access to residence halls.
Waddail was also responsible for security systems on campus, which he oversaw and implemented.
Sara Jo Burks, assistant director of housing and residence life, said that Waddail was a “really good friend” and a servant to many people.
“I think anyone that knew him and had any type of relationship with him would describe him as a really good friend – somebody that you can depend on,” Burks said. “He was a quiet, gentle servant.”
Burks shared how Waddail had offered for Burks and her husband, who has rheumatoid arthritis, to park in his front yard during sporting events to help alleviate some of the walking distance for them.
Bonnie Money, a friend and former QuickCopy co-worker of Waddail’s, said he always went out of his way to help.
“He always wanted to help you,” Money said. “That was his goal.”
Money said that Waddail did not want others knowing of the little or big ways that he gave and he helped.
“His heart was to serve,” Money said. “He was always a very generous giver, and he always made a point to give.”
Burks and Money said Waddail was very close to his student workers.
“He really loved our students, and he would have done anything for anybody,” Burks said.
“He treated everybody like family, and he had a nickname for most everyone,” Money said.
Sabrina Foster, coordinator of housing and residence life, said that she had known Waddail since about 2001, and he was “one of a kind” and went out of his way to help.
Foster shared a story of when a floor plan binder had accidentally fallen off her desk into the trash can. By the time she realized what had happened, the trash had already been taken out to the dumpster.
She and Waddail could actually see the notebook in the dumpster. Waddail, “without complaining,” got into the dumpster to retrieve her binder.
“Sabrina, it’s no problem,” Waddail said to Foster.
Foster was informed the next day by Waddail’s student worker that Waddail had gotten into the dumpster with brand-new suede shoes he had recently purchased.
“I had no idea that he dove through the dumpster to get my floor plan with his new shoes on,” Foster said. “He didn’t say anything; he didn’t complain. That’s just the kind of person he was.”
Both Burks and Foster said that Waddail was a “quiet” person.
“He didn’t bring attention to himself,” Burks said. “He did his job humbly and quietly.”
“He was a very quiet person and didn’t want a big fuss,” Foster said.
Money also described Waddail as “humorous,” “spiritual” and “so much fun to be around.”
Waddail had made hand crafted stained glass crosses for these friends and gave them as gifts. They said that Waddail did not sell these but created the crosses as a hobby.
“That was one of his favorite passions, making things with his hands,” Foster said.
“It is a cherished possession,” Burks said.
Waddail’s memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, at Hayes Funeral Home in Elba.
“He would truly be one of the unsung heroes of the campus,” Reeves said. “Steve gave his all to the campus and was always willing to help others.
“He will truly be missed, but will long be remembered by those on campus that he worked with and helped along the way.”
“I’m going to miss him, but I know that he is in a better place,” Foster said. “I choose not to be sad, because I got to know him and that was the best part.
“There won’t ever be another ‘fob guy.’”