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Romney Karl Payne

April 7, 1956 ~ January 8, 2021 (age 64)


Payne, Romney 

Whitmore Lake, Michigan 

Romney Karl Payne, 64, passed away January 8, 2021. He was born April 7, 1956, in Wyandotte, Michigan to Leonard and Eula (King) Payne. Romney married the love of his life, Marleen Burton, on August 21, 1976, in Wyandotte, Michigan. He spent his career proudly serving as an industrial firefighter, rising through the ranks to fire chief.

At home, Romney dedicated himself to realizing the dreams he and Marleen had of living on the water by renovating their lake house and outdoor space into their dream home. A resourceful and handy man, Romney could fix anything around the house. In his downtime, he loved to be outdoors exploring nature or on the lake enjoying fishing and boating.

Romney’s biggest source of happiness was his loving family. He was a devoted husband, proud father, dear brother, and beloved uncle. Romney was a role model to his children, and to his nephews, who often let him know he was the favorite uncle. A spiritual, if not religious man, his faith and values guided him. Romney serves as an example to all who knew him, how to live life with integrity and hope.

Romney will be deeply missed by his wife, Marleen; his daughters, Katherine Payne and Elizabeth Payne; his siblings in law, William Burton, John (Sylvia) Burton, Kathleen and Stephen (Riley) Curell, Robert Burton, and Mary Burton; and many loved nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Eula Payne; Siblings, Leonard (Bud) Payne, and Pamala Hammer.

His community farewell will be held at a date and time to be determined. Memorial contributions are welcomed to the Patient and Family Support Services Program at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center or Gilda’s Club, Grand Rapids. Please leave a message of comfort for Romney’s family at one Dash 877–231 -7900, Or sign the guestbook at

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University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
1500 East Medical Center Drive CCGC 6-303, Ann Arbor MI 48109-0944
Tel: 1-734-764-6777

Gilda's Club
1806 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504
Tel: 1-616-453-8300