Memorial services for Wayne Thomas Lee Milnes will be held at Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home & Crematory, Branson, June 13, 2019, 10 a.m.
Wayne was born June 25, 1950, in Frankfurt, Germany, son of Paul Eugene Milnes and Ethel Milnes Smith, at the 97th General U.S. Army Hospital.
He died June 8.
He was the second oldest of five siblings. In 1968, he graduated from William Chrisman High School, in Independence, Mo., and attended Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU), from 1968 to 1972, majoring in speech and theater. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970 and was honorably discharged the same year.
He lived in Independence, Mo., Springfield, Mo. and Branson. He was married to Kelly Jones, on Oct. 9, 1988. He was a lifelong entertainer, beginning his career in 1968 at Silver Dollar City as a street performer and train robber. He later began performing in their many variety shows, entertaining hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in their many daily shows for nearly 20 years. He worked for Springfield television stations KMTC (now KRBK) and KSPR in performing roles.
He held employment at several Branson theaters and attractions, including the Toby Show at the Corn Crib Theater, Grand Country Music Hall, the Grand Palace, the Jim Stafford Theater, the Kirby Van Burch Theater, Big Cedar Lodge and several other engagements.
He, also, traveled the country doing school assembly programs, birthday parties and presentations.
He hosted and performed in several local area events and celebrations.
He played many well-known characters such as hillbilly ne’er do wells Zenus and Cylde Cloyster, silent pantomimes Mike the Mechanical Man, the “Man Eating Fast,” and Mr. Bojangles, and was the first titled “Master Feature Entertainer” at Silver Dollar City.
He hosted the late night horror show, Dr. Dead, for KMTC in the 1970’s. Arguably, his most iconic role was Sammy B. Good, a lovable hobo clown and host of the Springfield children’s show, Sammy’s Place, on KSPR from 1985 to 1989.
He made several other notable television appearances on different programs including Bozo the Clown and America’s Funniest People. He, also, enjoyed playing parts in his sons’ ill-conceived video projects.
What he liked most in life was making others laugh. He is said to have been the funniest person in the room and would find a way to make even the most serious person crack a smile. Several have compared him to many comedy greats over the years, often being put ahead of them.
He was, also, a kind person and would do anything he could to help another in need. He enjoyed watching football and baseball on television with his sons, rooting for his Kansas City home teams and the St. Louis Cardinals.
He began his well-deserved retirement in 2015.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, and brother, Robert Milnes.
Survivors include his sons, Nicholas Kayne, Harrison Shad and Thomas Rex, all of Branson; siblings, Susan Edmonds (Howard), of Blue Springs, Mo., William Milnes, of Blue Summit, Mo. and Karen (John) Moore, of Independence, Mo.
Memorials may be made towards Champion Athletes of the Ozarks, a local non-profit organization that benefits individuals with special needs.