Donald Lee Payton, 82, of Rock Island died February 24th, 2021.
Celebration of Life Services will be held on Monday March 1st, 2021 at Word of Life Church, Rock Island IL. Visitation will be from 10am-noon and services beginning at noon with luncheon to follow.
Don was born June 21,1938 in Iowa City, Iowa to Donovan and Ella Williams Payton. The family moved to Rock Island in 1945 and Don remained a lifelong resident.
He married the love of his life Karen Sanders in 1995.
He graduated Rock Island High School in 1957. Don was employed and retired from Rock Island High School as Chief of Security after 30 plus years of service. Don loved working at the high school and was a mentor to many students and had a major impact on everyone. Don was the ear for students who needed someone to listen, he was the stern voice when you needed it and the funny and charismatic style was adored by everyone he encountered.
Don had a love for sports, his favorite teams were the Chicago Bears, Illini, and St Louis Cardinals. Don enjoyed officiating sporting events such as basketball, baseball, and volleyball. He also loved music and sang in the Chord Busters Barber Shop Choir. Don was an avid servant of Jesus Christ and was very involved in his church, Second Baptist. He enjoyed family time, BBQ’s, holidays, birthdays, and most of all food that came along with it. When he was able, he loved going to his grandchildren’s sporting events, and programs.
Don was a Rock Island Rock through and through and by virtue of his profession attended majority of the High Schools sporting events and activities while inspiring generations of Rock Island natives.
Survivors include his daughters Darla (Robert) Enter and Denise (Larry) McWilliams and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also, a special friend/caregiver Rita Landers.
He is preceded in death by his spouse Karen Sanders.
Any donations can be made out to The Donald Payton Memorial Fund.
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