Arlo ‘Leon’ Payne, 76, New Strawn: Dec. 30, 1943 – Sept. 30, 2020

NEW STRAWN, Kan. – Arlo “Leon” Payne, age 76, of New Strawn, Kan., passed away Wednesday morning, Sept. 30, 2020, at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka, Kan. Leon was born in Larned, Kan., on Dec. 30, 1943, to Amy (Newell) Payne and John Howard Payne.

He graduated from Wichita High School South in 1963. He married his high school sweetheart, Lola Kathleen “Kathy” Lemon, on Feb. 14, 1964. They had three sons.

Leon worked as a machinist in Wichita, Kan., until 1970 at which time their family relocated to Arkansas so Leon could join his father’s filling station business. A few years later he began his career in the nuclear industry. Over the years he worked at power plants in Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Arizona, before settling in New Strawn. He retired from Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant in 1997. In 2001, he joined the Kan-Seal team where he worked for nine more years. In recent years Leon worked part-time at Chrisman Hardware Store.

Leon was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and a member of Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree. He served eight years on the New Strawn City Council. He enjoyed woodworking and photography. He and Kathy were avid travelers in their motor home. As full-time RVers, they served as camp hosts in many states across the nation over the past 10 years. Leon particularly enjoyed making new friends; he didn’t know a stranger.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two infant brothers, and a brother in law, Verlin Freeman.

Leon leaves his wife, Kathy, of 56 years; and their three sons, Kevin (Angie), Lyndon, Kan., Edward (Antoine), Haysville, Kan., Michael (Janet), Burlington, Kan.; grandchildren Justin Payne (Jessica), McMinnville, Ore., Kristen Buchman (Cale), Edmond, Okla., Mackenzie Payne (fiancé Kendall Jeffers), Burlington, Kan., Joshua Payne, Lyndon, and Jayden Payne, Burlington; two great-granddaughters, Hensley Buchman and Jade Payne; brother, Thomas Mealy (Denise), Floyd, Va.; sister, Judy Freeman, Atkins, Ark.; brother, Martin Payne, Liberty Hill, Texas; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 214 Juniatta St., Burlington. The family will receive friends 6-7:30 p.m. Sunday at Jones Funeral Home, 801 Garrettson St., Burlington. Burial will be in Winfield Cemetery, Winfield, Kan.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Coffey County Cancer Support Group, and sent in care of Jones Funeral Home, PO Box 277, Burlington, Kansas 66839.

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