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Wayne L. Payne

Wayne L. Payne, 85, was born Jan. 3, 1936 in Colorado City, Texas, and went to the arms of his Savior April 11 in Greensboro, N.C., after a courageous battle with COVID-19 and pulmonary fibrosis.

Wayne met the love of his life, Lois, in Millington, Tenn., while serving in the United States Navy as a naval aircraft technician. During his service, he was honored with two medals.

Wayne seamlessly stepped from one type of service into another. He went from protecting and serving his country to protecting and serving peoples’ souls.

Wayne and Lois were members of the Church of Christ. They devoted their life to the growth of the church and to the support and care of people around the world, including a lifelong commitment to the churches in Nigeria, West Africa. Wayne helped educate and mentor other preachers and teachers to carry on Christ’s work. He was an extremely humble man, trying his best to example his Savior.

One of Wayne’s passions was learning.  He was an honored graduate of The University of North Alabama and The American University, with the accomplishment of three degrees. His final degree was in forensic science, which was his passion outside of his love for his Lord Jesus Christ.

Later in his life he worked with and retired from AT&T as a fiber optics engineer.

This work led him to live in Dallas, Texas, Bangkok, Thailand and San Antonio, Texas.

As a loving and conscientious man, Wayne enjoyed membership in local associations and was especially devoted to the Lions Club and the Helen Keller Institute. This commitment was strong to the point that he was an eye donor at the time of his passing.

He was a humanitarian, a true example to live by, and a precious gift from God!

He loved fishing, history, playing the guitar and harmonica, talking to others about their life’s journey and reading. He has been lovingly described by many as a legend in his own time.

Wayne’s unquestionable devotion to his faith in God and his family never wavered. His life was a living example of the Bible verse Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

He shared his God-given talent as if it were the air he breathed until his breath was no more. His compassion for others was beyond what most people could comprehend. It was never about him; it was always about others and how he might help and encourage them to live their lives to God’s glory.

Dad always said, “God doesn’t make mistakes, and it is up to us to respect and honor what God has in store for us.”

Wayne was an incredible son, father, husband, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend, but most of all, Christian.

He will be honored and remembered around the globe for years to come. The best way to honor the life he shared is to go out and do the same, glorifying God and living His purpose in your life.

He will forever live in the hearts of many.

A memorial for Wayne L Payne will be held at 2 p.m. May 15 at Pinkard Funeral Home in Haleyville located at 1308 21st St. Visitation will precede the memorial at 1 p.m. The service will be officiated by Jeffrey Burnett. The internment will be at the Winston Memorial Cemetery, 96 County Road 36, following the memorial service.

Because of Wayne’s commitment and contribution to the growth of the church in Nigeria, a memorial service is also being held in his honor by the brethren in Ibadan, Nigeria, West Africa.

Wayne was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Lois Gay Payne; brother, William (Bill) Garten Payne; parents, Jessie Garten Payne and Neva Ince Payne; mom, Madge Payne; and granddaughter Barbara Collins.

Wayne is survived by his three daughters, Teresa Knight (Mark), Tammie Ventura and Terri Aillet; one honorary son, Wayne Payne Felix Bassey Jr. (Dorathy); two sisters, Virginia Priddy (CC) and Betty Miller; one brother, “Buddy” David E. Payne (Kathy); six grandchildren, Heather Llewellen (Robert), Skyler Collins, Ryan Collins, Dwayne Collins (Melissa), John Cox (Mandy) and Emily Moore (Jay); one honorary grandson, YeAbasi Bassey; and 19 great-grandchildren, Brianne Hardy, Haley Hardy, Meaghan Llewellen, Robert Llewellen, Kaylee Collins, Carlee Cox, Lily Kate Cox, Emerson Moore, Lawson Moore, Sutton Moore, William Salter, Ethan Salter, Nathanial Salter, Shelby Grooms, Austin Collins, Makenna Collins, Jessica McGowen, LeAnn McGowen and Mikey McGowen.

Honoring Wayne as pallbearers will be Christian friends and family members John Cox, Skyler Collins, Ryan Collins, Shane Motes and Robert Marcum.

His children would like to express special thanks to the Specialty Hospital Medical Team and Staff in Greensboro North Carolina, who cared for their father with much attention and compassion, and to Dr. Kyle Thomas and Dr Ali Hijazi for their exceptional medical care that was delivered with sincere passion and empathy.

They also want to take this time to thank the members of The Winston Salem Church of Christ, other church members across the United States and in Ibadan, Nigeria, for their constant outreach of prayers and acts of compassion during their dad’s journey.

He will forever live in our hearts. We love you, Dad, and what a glorious reunion we will have when we all meet with you again!