The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.

Panther Press

  • Junior Prom on 4/22!

  • Varsity Arts Ceremony on 4/21

Remembering Robert Payne

Carter Krouse '17, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Strath Haven community was hurt badly when news broke out that former Strath Haven student and standout athlete Robert Payne was killed in Chester, PA this past summer. Friends and family mourned the loss of a dear friend who was considered as “everyone’s friend”, someone who was seen as kind, generous, and thoughtful. Close friends of Payne’s, who went to Strath Haven with him, wanted to find a way to remember the life of such an amazing person. Lead by current Strath Haven science teacher Ms. Locke along with other alumni and friends, two great strides have been made in making sure that Payne is never forgotten.

The first stride is the creation of One Haven, an organization that brings individuals and communities together to focus on the power of education and to foster the development of strong relationships in a safe environment. They hope to bring common connection and communication to the surface to raise money for a scholarship that One Haven is now offering called the Robert Allen Payne Scholarship. This is awarded to a student-athlete who is committed to their community and striving for excellence, both in and out of the classroom. The scholarship will help the student in pursuing a college education at an accredited institution, and it is a great way to both remember Rob and give back to the help the greater community. The second stride is the creation of an annual 3v3 basketball tournament that will start this year. The tournament took place this month on March 18th in the Strath Haven High School gym from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and it was a great way for people to remember Payne through a game he loved while also supporting a great and empowering cause. Team sign-ups filled quickly with many people excited to rally behind this cause. Community members were encouraged to come out, and many of them did. It was a time to watch and play while also learning more about One Haven and having some fun. After with this event, One Haven plans on hosting various events moving forward. Together we can truly make change for the better. For information about One Haven and the 3v3 tournament, visit onehavenunite.com.

I was able to ask people who knew Mr. Payne throughout his life about how much of an impact he had not just on their lives, but on the entire Strath Haven community. Ed Gaynor, Rob’s elementary school teacher from Swarthmore Rutledge Elementary, recalls a memory he had of Rob before his death saying, “I last saw Rob about a year before I retired and we had a long discussion about his future. He told me about wanting to be a teacher. Needless to say I was very proud. What I remember about that visit was his genuine joy in surprising me in my classroom after school. At first I didn’t know who he was, then he smiled and I knew. How could you ever forget that smile! All I could think about was what a positive role model he would be for his students.”

Durell More, a close friend of Rob, recalls Rob’s senior year when he hit his 1000th high school career point. Durell  states, “His mom was running late to the basketball game so he waited to score his 1000th career point until she was there. They stopped the game to celebrate and he gave his mom the game ball.” Durell, a fellow member of the Havel class of 2003, illustrates the love Rob had for his family and his community. Another friend and member of the SHHS class of 2003 is Jen Wenrich who explains, “There are very few instances in life when you can vividly remember your first encounter with someone, he was one of those people though who just left that impression.” Clearly Rob’s impact as a friend, an individual, and a force in his community was wide felt.

In his biography, Rob is described as “everybody’s friend”, and Caitlyn Locke collaborates this by describing, “Rob made everyone know that they mattered and that he cared for them, he always took time to let you know that in some way.” John Durnell fondly recalls, “Rob treated everyone the same. He was funny and had a contagious personality so people naturally gravitated towards him.”

Robert Payne was a man described as “humble, loyal, and intellectual”, but most importantly he was someone loved by our community. Therefore, the strides taken by One Haven to create this impactful scholarship and run this basketball tournament demonstrate the wide spread impact Rob’s presence had on shaping our community for the better. One Haven has done an admirable job in creating a meaningful way to remember Robert Payne.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
Remembering Robert Payne