Lee and Ray Schum are leaving Payson for Palm Springs, Calif.
"It is with a great deal of regret and sadness that Lee and I must make this announcement," Schum wrote in a letter of farewell. "Many factors were taken into consideration: age, health and the location of our grown children."
He said Payson is, and always will be, what he and his wife wanted for a place to live their retirement years.
"We have enjoyed Payson, perhaps more than any place we have been, and we shall leave with heartfelt regrets," Schum wrote.
He said the infirmities associated with age have caught up with both him and Lee, including negotiating the stairs of a two-story home.
"A financial situation has presented itself which would work to our advantage at the present time as well as provide a service to our eldest son who has a home in Palm Springs," Schum wrote.
The couple have already put their home on the market, and its sale will determine when they actually make the move.
"Without a doubt, Lee and I have thoroughly enjoyed our life in Payson and have developed many close and valued friendships which we will forever treasure. Lee and I wish to bid a fond farewell to all the many friends that we will leave behind as we depart. Payson will always remain a fond memory in our hearts and minds. Best wishes to all in your future endeavors and may you remain a caring, quality community," Schum wrote.
Schum served as Payson's mayor from 1999 to 2002, and was on the town council from 1996 until his run for the top town's office.
He and his wife came to Payson in 1989 after retiring from the aerospace industry in Southern California. Schum also served 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Over his years in Payson, he conducted the Elks' community blood drive and worked at the St. Vincent de Paul food bank. He was heavily involved in getting the new Payson Public Library built and fighting for redistricting.
For all his many contributions to the community, Schum was named Payson's Man of the Year in 2002.
At the time his Vice Mayor Dick Wolfe participated in the tribute to Schum. When contacted about the departure of the former mayor, Councilor Wolfe said, "The award was well deserved for the many positive things he's done for the community over the years. We worked on the Elks blood drive together. I'm going to miss him personally and the community is too. We need all the Ray Schums we can get, and there aren't too many like him."