James E. Payne, 93, passed away peacefully at his home in Baxley on December 3, 2013. A native of Hart County, he was a 1941 graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.S. degree in agricultural engineering. Payne served in the Army Air Force and was commissioned at Yale University in 1942. After serving his country, he served in various capacities with the Soil Conservation Service for almost 35 years.
Payne was a member of First Baptist Church in Baxley and First Baptist Church in Jackson. While at First Baptist in Jackson, he served as an ordained deacon and held many other positions within the church. He was also named Christian Layman of the year in 1987. He faithfully served his community as a member of the Kiwanis Club in Baxley and Jackson for 67 years where he served in many capacities including Lieutenant Governor of Georgia’s District 12.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha Holbrook Payne; brothers, David, Jr., John, and Jackson Payne; and sister, Rachael Cordell.
Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Ellen and Cary Long of Baxley; grandchildren, Marti (Leif) England of Baxley and Marcus (Jena) Long of Kingsland; great grandchildren, Carson England, Emma England, and Andrew Long; two sisters, Clara Skelton of Homestead, FL and Nora Kunz of Kirkwood, MO; one brother, Joe Payne of Jefferson, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, December 6 at 2:00 p.m. from First Baptist Church of Baxley with the Reverends Dan Hughes and Keith Alderman officiating and a eulogy by Marcus Long. Interment followed at Pine Lawn Memorial Gardens in Alma.
Active pallbearers were Leif England, Marcus Long, Carson England, Alec Dalrymple, Cooper Salrymple, and Paul Moricz.
Honorary pallbearers were the Kiwanis Club of Baxley, the Fisherman’s Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church, Dr. and Mrs. Errol Graham, and Caregivers, Betty Copeland and Elaine Williams.
Musical selections were rendered Vic Brantley, Claire Tanner, and Gail Carter.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to The Kiwanis Club of Baxley, c/o Janine Hunter, 700 West Parker Street, Baxley, GA 31513, or First Baptist Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 346, Baxley, GA 31515.
Arrangements were under the direction of Swain Funeral Home.