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Linn County News

Published Jan. 2, 2019

Wayne “Red” McCune of Rich Hill, Mo., passed away on Dec. 27, 2018. Wayne was born on April 19, 1937, in Nevada, Mo., to Virgil Franklin McCune and Jessie (Osborne) McCune. His early years were spent in Nevada before moving to a farm in Walker, Mo., in 1943. He attended high school in Walker and graduated salutatorian with the class of 1955.

Wayne’s graduation was his second date with Wanda Emerson. By Dec. 28, 1958, they were married and remained married for almost 60 years until his death.

Wayne and Wanda made their first home in Eureka, Kan. In building Wayne’s experience in the grocery business, they moved to Emporia, Kan., Nevada, Mo., Springfield, Mo., and finally settled in Rich Hill in 1972.

Wayne started working in the grocery business as a teenager. He managed his first meat department by the age of 20 and his first grocery store by 24. By 1970, Wayne was vice president of Ramey’s – a large grocery chain based in Springfield, Mo. In August of 1972, Wayne and Wanda fulfilled their dream of owning their own store when they bought the Rich Hill store from Fred Marquardt. This is where they would settle with their family, and Wayne would become known as “Red.” Throughout the years, Wayne would own a share of partnership in stores in Golden City, Mo., Lamar, Mo., Butler, Mo., Nevada, Mo., La Cygne, Kan., and Mound City, Kan. (which both began as joint ventures with longtime friends Fred and Billie Lee), and Pleasanton, Kan.

Wayne loved being involved in his community, his church and his country. He was an active member in the Lions Club, spent two years as president of the Chamber of Commerce, and many years as a director on the board of Security Bank of Rich Hill and eventually Citizens Bank. He served as a trustee and deacon for the First Baptist Church for over 25 years. Wayne proudly served in the National Guard, first based at Camp Clark in Nevada, and eventually based at the Springfield Aviation Repair Depot, where he became a helicopter mechanic. Wayne enjoyed telling stories of his time in the National Guard, like when he became a driver for several VIPs or worked as a cook and earned the name “Pepper Red.”

Wayne had a variety of hobbies. He enjoyed traveling and took his family all across the United States. He was an avid water-skier and boater and spent many days on the lake with friends and family. He loved slalom skiing and sharing the experience with others. Wayne’s passion for farming saw him spend many years acquiring and developing land and raising cattle. Hauling hay was a family outing everyone was able to enjoy.

Anyone that knew Wayne knew of his love for cars. He attended auto shows and antique car sales. Throughout the years he acquired several classic cars and won a few trophies in local shows and parades.

One of Wayne’s greatest passions was helping others – whether it was a child having a bad day at the store, an individual a little down on their luck, or someone needing advice or help in their business endeavors. Wayne knew what it took to succeed and gladly shared that knowledge with anyone who wished to do the same.

Wayne loved his family and in later life savored his role as great grandfather. He leaves behind his wife Wanda Sue (Emerson) McCune; a son, Bruce Allen McCune; a daughter, Beth Ann McCune; a granddaughter, Candace LeAnn (McCune) Wilson; and two great grandchildren, Bailie and Bryson. Also surviving is his sister, Joyce Trujillo, of Cheyenne, Wyo.

Wayne was an incredible man who will be greatly missed by his community, his friends and most importantly, his family.

Funeral services were held Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, at the First Baptist Church in Nevada. Interment was at Newton Burial Park in Nevada. The American Legion Post No. 67 of Rich Hill rendered the military rites.

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