Sterling Olan Lanphear
Sterling Olan Lanphear (Smith), 64, of Payson, went to his heavenly home Feb. 3, 2013.
He was born in Hollywood, Calif. to Arlene and Kevin Smith. He attended Glendale High School, before attending Glendale Community College, and later Arizona State University, to study accounting.
Mr. Lanphear served his country with the Marine Corps and was a veteran of the Vietnam War, earning eight service medals. Following his military service, he served the City of Phoenix for 20 years as a police officer. While serving the city, he also gave his time with the police union PLEA, serving as vice-president of the organization for several years.
After retiring from civil service, Mr. Lanphear continued to be active in service to retired police officers and families, co-founding the Region 61 of the International Police Association (IPA). During this career he traveled extensively with IPA groups building relationships with other members in many countries.
After moving to Payson, he became a Subway franchise owner, and was active in various community organizations.
Mr. Lanphear enjoyed traveling with his wife, reading and was passionate about lifelong learning, particularly U.S. and world history. He was known for lively, evocative conversations on politics, religion and history.
Mr. Lanphear was a kind-hearted, generous man who gave time and money to a variety of organizations including Rock of Ages Lutheran Church, International Police Association, the Arizona Chapter of Concerns of Police Officers (COPS), Marine Corps League and others.
He is survived by his wife, Donna; two sisters; three stepchildren; four step-grandchildren; and numerous other family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Arlene; stepfather, Don Ray; and biological father, Kevin.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 21 at Rock of Ages Lutheran Church in Payson. The service will be officiated by Pastor David Sweet.
An honor interment at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix will be held at later date.
Donations in Mr. Lanphear’s name may be made to Rock of Ages Lutheran Church, Arizona Concerns of Police Officers, or the American Heart Association.