Cover photo for Wayne Paul Ifft's Obituary
1943 Wayne Ifft 2024

Wayne Paul Ifft

August 10, 1943 — June 23, 2024

Overland Park

Wayne Paul Ifft, 80, of Overland Park, Kansas passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on June 23, 2024. Wayne was born on August 10, 1943, to Paul and Gertrude (Hoerr) Ifft in Forrest, Illinois, a small farming community in central Illinois. He was very proud of his German/Norwegian/Swiss heritage and where he grew up with a large extended family having over 55 first cousins all on his father’s side. He was a dedicated son, brother and nephew who made great effort to stay close to his parents, his older sister, Alma and his mother’s four sisters. His family meant so much to him that every Saturday, at 5pm, was reserved for the phone call with his parents, every Christmas was celebrated with family in his home town and he would organize many amazing trips in the US and beyond to take his wife, daughters, parents, aunts, sister, in laws and extended family. 

 After graduating high school in Forrest, Wayne attended the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and met his wife, Nancy (Merret) Ifft in 1964. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Accounting and became a CPA. Wayne began his professional career in Chicago with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell& Co. (now KPMG) in their auditing department. In 1973, KPMG transferred Wayne, Nancy and their two daughters to Kansas City, where he specialized in auditing companies for 11 years. The Van Tuyl organization recruited Wayne into private accounting but after a year, he returned to public accounting with Grant Thornton. During his time at Grant Thornton, because of his expertise with insurance auditing, he was an expert witness that worked closely with the litigating attorney on a lawsuit by the State of Wisconsin against a large insurance company. He commuted to Madison, Wisconsin weekly for four years until the trial was settled and won. In addition to working on the lawsuit in Madison, he spent his evenings working and became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).  In 1987, Wayne started his own CPA firm, Ifft & Co., and he built his accounting practice into one of the top 25 firms in Kansas City. He was extremely proud of his successful business and retired in 2012.

 From a young age, Wayne was an avid sports fan idolizing Robin Roberts from Springfield, Illinois, a Hall of Fame pitcher, for the Philadelphia Phillies. He would listen to games on Cardinals Radio during the 50’s and 60’s. In high school, he lettered in football as an offensive end. Since 1977, his love for Kansas City sports continued when he became a season ticket holder for both the Chiefs and the Royals acquiring some of the best seats in the house. When at The K, you will see a plaque with his name on his 4 seats. And we can’t talk sports without including his love for KU Basketball. He attended games going back to the Larry Brown days and wouldn’t miss filling out his March Madness Brackets. Throughout his recent illness, the highlight of his day was watching the Chiefs, KU Basketball and the Royals games. Wayne studied the players, the stats and the strategies always impressing us with his vast knowledge. His enthusiasm never wavered and he made a big effort to attend his last Royals game on June 8. Cherished memories with family and friends were made throughout the many years with his beloved Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks. 

 From 1975-1985, Wayne’s passion for sports evolved into softball with the Nall Hills Girls Softball League. He managed and coached for both of his daughter’s teams, recruiting several other coaches to help teach the girls fundamental skills and winning strategies to play the game. He managed one of the teams to an undefeated season in 1980 and could still recall specific plays that won the final game in that infamous undefeated season.

 Wayne took on several leadership positions at places that meant a lot to him. He was the President of Nall Hills Country Club where he and Nancy played tennis, enjoyed swimming and socializing while making many lifelong friends. They later joined Brookridge Country Club playing both golf and tennis. He was also the President of the Church Council at Atonement Lutheran Church where they have been members since 1976. Wayne was involved with many professional organizations and donated to countless charities throughout his life.  

 In 1956, at the age of 12, Wayne left the state of Illinois for the first time on a 3 week, cross country, family vacation to California. This started his desire to see the world. He and Nancy have traveled to all 50 states more than once, most of the national parks, 39+ countries and many trips to their places in Hawaii, Cabo and Colorado with friends and family. Some of his favorite trips combined his love of history and his love of travel like when he visited Normandy and the 10 bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War with his good friend. He was an intelligent man with an incredible memory and would read everything that pertained to sports, financial information, world news, history as well as fiction. 

Wayne cherished his friendships and it was important to him to make the effort to catch up during face to face lunches. He looked forward to his Monday night guys group at Johnny’s, his Saturday morning breakfast group and weekly lunches at Conroy’s. For years, the guys went on an annual Vegas trip for a tennis weekend that later turned into a golf weekend as they got older.

 Wayne was a loving husband to Nancy for 59 years. A devoted father to two daughters, Kim (Kurt) Cronenwett of Prairie Village, KS and Holly (Pete) Weidner of Chandler, Arizona. He was a favorite Grandpa to 5 grandchildren –Abby, Charlie, Madelyn, Kate and Hope and 3 step grandchildren –Jake (Jess), Annie (Sal) and Taylor. A special Uncle to his 3 nephews– Mark, Brian (Nancy), Bruce (Lisa) and his niece, Joyce (Scott), and many more nephews and nieces and grand nephews and nieces.

 Wayne touched many lives and was an incredible role model, exemplifying a life well lived. He will be greatly missed! We love you and we will forever hold you in our hearts and memories. 

 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Atonement Lutheran Church.

 The service will be held on Tuesday, July 16, at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212. Visitation starting at 10:00am and Service at 11:00am. 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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