Payton Elliott Rose, 11, who died Dec. 28, 2019, is no longer on this Earth to give his loving hugs to all those around him. Yet, it is his warmth and passion that the bereaved are still sensing from this boy who lit up the world.
Several days after he died in his sleep at home in Halstead from an unknown cause, his mourning mother Jennifer (Wyckoff) Rose, said she is celebrating his life. His exuberance and curiosity touched the lives of all those around him – especially those of his brothers Jacob (12) and Jesse (19), and his father, Bobby Rose.
“Payton was our wonderful surprise, being born only 11 months after his brother Jacob,” Jennifer said. “From the day he was born, he connected with those around him. The thing we will probably miss most about him is his hugs. Payton gave the best hugs! You could feel his love when he hugged you.”
With that great love also came great courage, Jennifer said. Even at a young age, Payton was fearless in being bold and trying new things. He also had little concern for the possibility of negative consequences.
“It’s like he was born without that fear bone,” Jennifer said. “Payton began climbing on furniture and up trees when he was little. His first broken bone came at age 2 while jumping on a trampoline with a bunch of older nieces and nephews. There have been a variety of bruises, scrapes, stitches and scars since then.”
One of his earliest feats occurred about age 5 or 6 when he attempted to climb a 10-foot fence and scale the radio tower in Walton. “As I called out, looking for him, Payton hollered back, ‘I’m stuck.’ I still remember looking up and telling him, ‘You got yourself up there, you better get yourself down.’”
Payton’s bravery continued to grow with him, Jennifer said. He was always active, full of energy, and loved sports, singing and dancing. Break dancing was his favorite. He had a cameo at the Kansas State Fair. As one of the street acts played, they invited Payton into the middle of the crowd, where he proudly showed off his flips, kicks and turns.
He liked to win, though Payton’s love of sports transcended competition. “He simply loved whatever game he was playing and always strove to do better,” Jennifer said. “Payton was a loving soul, caring for everyone around him. He always wanted to do better, to improve himself and to help others reach their full potential. Always such an intuitive boy, Payton seemed to know when others were hurting, feeling down or needing a pick-me-up.” (His compassionate spirit was also evident in his love for animals and all creatures. He was always wanting to pick up strays and would never step on bugs.)
Playing soccer was the deepest love of Payton’s life, and he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. He had been a member of the Newton Railers Soccer club for many years. He also played a variety of sports with the Newton Recreation Center and was a member of the Newton Junior Railers Football Club.
Payton’s perseverance also transcended the sports field. “Even when he became frustrated with schoolwork or people, he didn’t give up; he always pushed through,” Jennifer said. “Payton loved it when others were proud of him. He enjoyed making people proud — his teachers, his coaches, his parents.”
Payton was born to his parents Bobby and Jennifer Rose on March 7, 2008, at Newton (Kansas) Medical Center, just 11 months after his brother, Jacob. Payton attended Walton Rural Life Center in Walton and Santa Fe 5/6 Center in Newton. He was most recently enrolled in the sixth grade at Halstead Middle School.
Payton is survived by parents and brothers, Jacob Rose and Jesse Rose, Kris and Cinda Wyckoff (maternal grandparents), and Howard and Faye Mann (maternal great-grandparents). He was preceded in death by paternal grandparents Tammy & JD Solomon and Bob Rose.
The members of Payton’s family say that his life has been a great blessing. “He has touched so many lives, and will continue to touch others into the future,” Jennifer said. “His family is eternally grateful for the time we had with him on this earth. We joyfully bask in his charismatic love and kindness.
“It has been an honor to know you Payton, and we look forward to the day when we will see you again — striking that confident pose with that tilted smile. Payton you are loved more than you will ever know.”
Services for Payton Rose will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, followed by lunch (please join the family). In lieu of flowers, Payton’s memory can best be honored through gifts to the Payton Rose Scholarship Fund with the Newton Railers Soccer Club (Paytonrose.newtonrailers.com/scholarship). This fund will help more children to get involved in the game of soccer As captain of his team, this is something Payton would enjoy—more kids playing the game he loved.
Petersen Funeral Home in Newton is in charge of arrangements.