Ralph Leon Payne (1920-2010)
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Yanceyville (News and Record, Greensboro, NC, 18 September 2010) - Ralph Leon Payne, 90, of 140 Old N.C. Highway 86 N. passed away at the Rockingham Hospice House Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010 in Wentworth, N.C. following months of declining health. Mr. Payne was born in Rockingham County on April 3, 1920 to the late Lynn Broughton Payne and Mary Mitchell Payne. He was educated in Rockingham County Schools and attended Danville Community College in Danville. On December 6, 1941 he married Elaine Duncan Payne in Conway S.C. From this marriage they had two daughters, the late Nancy Payne Tatum and Carolyn L. Payne of Yanceyville.
In 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Payne entered the US Army at Fort Bragg, NC. He served during World War II in Ireland, England , Italy and Africa. He was captured by the Germans and transferred to a Prisoner of War Camp in Germany where he was held as a prisoner of war for twenty seven months. He was liberated by the Russians in the spring of 1945 and returned to the United States in June of 1945. He has been an avid supporter of Veterans and member of the VFW where he served in a number of areas over the years. Prior to his retirement in 1985, Mr. Payne served the citizens of Caswell County as Building Inspector. Even after his retirement he willingly returned six times to help out when there was a vacancy in the department or a special need. He loved Caswell County and felt honored to be able to provide a service to it's Citizens. Mr. Payne was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Yanceyville since 1947. He served many years on the Building and Grounds Committee and donated many hours to building cabinets for the church kitchens, making repairs to the building, helping with the construction of the church.
He is survived by his wife Elaine Duncan Payne for sixty eight years of the home, one daughter Carolyn L. Payne of Yanceyville, grandchildren Leonard Joseph Tatum III, (Kim) of Danville, Va. Jonathan Payne Tatum (Natasha) of Oak Island, N.C., Nancy Hedrick Morgan (David) of Greensboro, N.C., Jennifer Hedrick Lakey (John) of Dry Fork, Va., four Great grandchildren, Trey Tatum, Dylan Tatum, Trey Player, and Macayla Tatum. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a daughter Nancy Payne Tatum and sister Eleanor Lee Payne.
Funeral Services will be Saturday September 18, 2010 at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Yanceyville with interment to follow in Greenview Cemetery, Reidsville. The family will receive friends Friday 6 until 8 p.m. at Harrelson Funeral Service Chapel and at other times at the home of Carolyn Payne, 160 Old N.C. Highway 86 N. Yanceyville. The family request in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Baptist's Children Home of N.C. P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, N. C. 27360 or to the charity of your choice. Harrelson Funeral Service is assisting the Payne Family with arrangements.
Rose Webster Fann wrote on Sep 22, 2010 5:32 PM: "My face always lights up when i think of Mr and Mrs Payne..I grew up with Joe and enjoyed the summer house on the lake for several years...i will always remember both of them fondly..caswell county has lost another great man."
Sandy Huff Gainesville Florida wrote on Sep 21, 2010 7:54 PM: "It is with much sadness to read of the passing of Mr. Payne. I have fond memories of him and his family. I spent many a good of time at their home in the past. Their home was always open to young people. I remember when Mr. Payne built a boat in his basement and, if I recall, it was too big to get out the door when he finished it. The Boy Scouts used to camp out in the Payne's cabin on Rockingham Lake back in the 1950s. That's where I learned to swim while on a Boy Scout camping trip. My late Mother [Lillie Reagan Huff]and late Father [Arthur W. Huff, Sr.], were both dear friends of the Paynes.
My heart and prayers go out of Mrs. Payne, Carolyn and the entire family.
With much love and sympathy."