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Caleb Payne

On April 8th, Caleb Johnn Payne, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend passed away at the age of 93. Caleb was born in Lodgepole, Nebraska, to James David Payne and Gertrude Swartze Folkerts Payne. After graduating from Lodgepole High School in 1949, Caleb served with the United States Army in Korea. When he arrived home, he began work with Wheatbelt Public Power District in Sidney, NE, and was reunited with Wanda Lenz whom he married in 1953. They raised four children, Susie, Jim, Mark & Brenda. After 15 years with Wheatbelt Public Power, the couple moved to Gering, NE, in 1966 and Caleb went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation, Gering office, which later became Western Area Power Administration. Caleb retired in 1990, and he and Wanda began enjoying their retirement years. They have been married for 69 years.

Caleb's passion for the outdoors was evident to all who knew him. His favorite place was anywhere outside, and he pursued interests in hunting, fishing, and boating. In his later years, he picked up golf and gardening which again led him outdoors. He often said he felt closest to God when viewing nature, and enjoyed taking drives just to find a new road and look around.

Caleb was known for his sense of humor, his compassion for helping a person down on their luck, and his easy going temperament. He loved to bowl, and play cribbage, often participating in cribbage tournaments at the American Legion, Post 36. Caleb served in the Color Guard, helped with fundraisers, and enjoyed many hours with the veterans there.


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