Chesterton Tribune



Former Duneland Schools Superintendent Kenneth Payne dies at 77

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Dr. Kenneth L. Payne, 77, Fort Wayne, passed away peacefully at 4 a.m. Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at the Catherine Kasper Life Center at Donaldson, following an extended illness. While there he was under the Center for Hospice Care.

Ken was born in Fowlerton, to Luther K. Payne and Ruth (Van Natter) Payne. Ken was the first in his family to graduate from college attending Ball State University and graduating in 1960. Ken subsequently earned a Masterís Degree in 1965 and his Doctorate of Education in 1987. Ken continued to serve Ball State as an active alumnus and was a past president of the Teachers College Alumni Association.

Professionally, Ken began his career as an educator, coach and principal, first at Jackson Center then Bluffton Junior High, both in Wells County. He spent twenty-nine years as a school superintendent. He retired after serving as superintendent of Duneland School Corporation for twelve years. While at Duneland, he was named Indiana Superintendent of the year in 1999. Prior to Duneland Schools, he served as Superintendent of Plymouth Community Schools (13 years) and Adams Central Schools (four years). Upon his retirement after 40 years in education, Ken worked part-time for Fanning and Howey Architects.

He was also active in service organizations including the United Way, Kiwanis International, and Chamber of Commerce.

Ken and his wife of over fifty-six years, Brenda S. (Coe), retired to Valrico, FL, before returning to Indiana full time in 2014 to be closer to family. In addition to his wife and two sons: Gregory A. (Sue) Payne; Geoffrey R. (Jennifer) Payne; Ken is survived by seven grandchildren: Kelly (Tom) Rybicki; Brittany; Davis; Lily; Samantha; Laura; and Jacob Payne; and a great-grandson: Payne Tuitt. Ken was preceded in death by his sister: Juanita Caldwell; and parents. He is also survived by his sister: June (Junior) Quillen, Dunkirk; brother: Richard (Nancy) Payne, Wentzville, Mo.; mother-in-law: Treva Coe; brother-in-law: Russell L. (Gay) Coe, Muncie; sister-in-law: Sonia (John Blue) Coe, Fort Wayne; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

The family will receive friends from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, March 20, in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, Plymouth. A celebration of Kenís life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 21, in the First United Methodist Church, Plymouth, where visitation will resume after 10 a.m. Pastor Larry Marhanka and Rev. Lloyd Hall of Grace United Methodist in Hartford City, will officiate. Immediately following a luncheon and time of continued sharing will occur at the Plymouth Golf Club. Ken will be laid to rest in the New Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth.

The family suggests memorial contributions to local United Way for the benefit of children would be a fitting tribute to Kenís life.


Posted 3/18/2016





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