James R. “Bob” Payne was born Nov. 6, 1929, to James R. Payne and Nettie Maria Kimsey in Bonanza, Colorado. Bob’s dad was a mining engineer and his work took him to Chloride. Bob attended Mohave High School, where he excelled at sports. Upon graduation in 1948, Bob entered the U.S. Navy from 1948-52. He got to see the world.
After the Navy, he went to work for Mohave Electric Co-operative. He married Helen Ruth Hart on March 13, 1953. One daughter, Mary, came from this marriage. He remarried November 1956, to Joan Louise Devore, they and their three children — Ann, John and Gary — moved to Show Low, where he took a job with Navapache Electric Co-operative, rising to the rank of manager.
In 1997, he took the job of manager with Duncan Valley Electric Co-operative. He and his wife, Joan, lived in Duncan until his retirement in 1994. They lived the American dream, traveling all through the county in their fifth wheel trailer for a few years. They then purchased a home in Lexington Pines to enjoy their retirement.
He lost a daughter to cancer in 1995, and his wife in 2005. Bob stayed in this home for another 12 years before losing his life to cancer April 5, 2017, at the age of 87. He loved life, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and people of all makes and models. He lived a good life and fought the good fight. R.I.P.
Bob was preceded in death by: his father, James R. Payne; mother, Nettie Way; wife, Joan; daughter, Ann; and son, Gary.
Left to live on are: his daughter, Mary Payne Vincent (Drew); son, John Payne (Lanell); grandchildren, Rob, Johnny, Sarah, Tracey, Chad and Craig; and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be conducted Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 2 p.m., at Vining Funeral Home’s “Chapel of the Valley,” with military honors conferred by the Gila Valley Veterans Honor Guard.
Arrangements are entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.