Howard J. Payne, 70, of Sikeston, died on Monday, Dec. 15, 2003, at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston.
Born Nov. 28, 1933, son of the late Alonza Edgar and Sarah Frances Griffen Payne, he lived all of his early life in Morehouse, where he attended elementary and high school. He worked for one year at International Shoe Company in Sikeston before beginning his career in the U.S. Air Force on Feb. 14, 1952. He was stationed at Lackland Air Base for 13 weeks of basic training and attended Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for eight weeks of Basic Medical Training. He was then stationed at Forbes Air Base, Topeka, Kan., where he worked in Obstetrics and Dependents Wards for five years and then transferred to Clark Air Base in the Philippines where he worked in Obstetrics for 18 months. After returning to the United States, Payne was stationed at Kelly Air Base, Texas. He attended the N.C.O. Prep School at Fairfield Air Station, Calif., where he earned the Commandant's Award. In 1961, he attended the Aero Space Medical Center at Gunter Air Base, Ala., for advanced medical training. He was again stationed at Clark Air Base, Philippines and worked in Obstetrics and Pediatric Wards for two years. He transferred to Blytheville Air Base, Ark., and worked as a Medical and Pharmacy Technician for five years. Payne attended Presidio of Monterey Language School in California, after which he was stationed at Moody Air Base, Ga., for one year. Payne was then stationed at Campion Air Base, Alaska, for one year and then at Altus Air Base, Okla., until he retired and was honorably discharged from the Air Force with the rank of Tech Sergeant on Oct. 1, 1973, after serving his country for 21 years and seven months.
Payne then made his home in Blytheville, Ark., and attended Cotton-Boll Tech in Burdette, Ark., where he received two certifications in Architectural Drafting in July, 1976.
On Sept. 9, 1978, he and Carol R. Randolph were married in Sikeston.
Payne worked at Missouri Delta Medical Center in housekeeping and attended the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where he was certified a member of the National Executive Housekeepers Association in 1983.
Payne was the co-owner and manager of Sheri-Dan Hallmark in Sikeston and a hotel manager for Budgetel Inns, Inc. until his retirement in 1991.
He attended North Acres General Baptist Church in Sikeston and was a member of the Henry Meldrum American Legion Post 114 in Sikeston.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Carol; a son, Philip Howard Payne of Gosnell, Ark.; a daughter, Kay Ohmer of Gosnell, Ark.; three grandsons, Kevin Crocker of Gosnell, Casper Brock Payne of Blytheville, Ark., and Anthony Wayne Evans of Dexter; one granddaughter, Stacy Michelle Fulks of Gosnell; two great-grandchildren, Dylan Scott Riggs and Sara Nicole Riggs of Selmer, Tenn.; and several nephews and nieces.
Seven brothers and one sister preceded him in death.
Friends called from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003, at the Ponder Funeral Home in Sikeston where funeral services were conducted at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003.
Interment followed in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield.
Pallbearers were Buster Payne, Butch Payne, Jim May III, Roger Giltner, Sr., Charles Klughart and Lonnie Lejune.
The Payne family request memorials be sent to Missouri Veterans Home, 2400 Veterans Memorial Drive, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63703.