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