Frederick J. Payne Jr.

Sun, 02/11/2024 - 8:30am

Frederick (Fred) John Payne Jr. of Tiki Island, Texas passed away peacefully in the early morning on Jan. 31, 2024 in the 18th arrondissement, Paris, France, three weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. Fred was born on Feb. 21, 1934 to Frederick John Payne Sr. and Virginia Nettie Deuterman in Arlington, Virginia. His love of reading began at a young age as his mother rewarded him with books for babysitting his five siblings. Fred became an avid fan of Alabama Crimson Tide at the age of 10 and remained a loyal fan throughout his life. He played football and baseball for Shinston High School in West Virginia.

At age 20, Fred entered the Air Force. He got his pilot’s license while stationed in Mississippi. He enjoyed swimming and became a lifeguard while stationed in New Mexico. While in Okinawa, Japan, he pursued photography in his free time. He was awarded a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.

In 1958, he met Cornelia (Connie) Ann Irvine in Philippi, est Virginia, and they married on Jan. 2, 1959. They recently celebrated 65 years of marriage and their 90th birthdays in grand fashion at Moody Mansion Museum in Galveston, Texas.

Fred began his utility career as a lineman with Monongahela Power Company at Buckhannon in 1960. He transferred to West Penn Power in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in 1974 as a coordinator of transmission construction for Allegheny Power Service. Subsequently, being promoted to construction project manager for high voltage power lines. He loved his work and many of his colleagues became like family.

In the early 90s and prior to his retirement, Fred learned how to sail, which had been one of his father’s dreams. He loved achieving this in remembrance of his father, and sailing became his passion. He cherished his Maine summer vacations in Boothbay Harbor with family and dear friends.

Since the pandemic, walking with his rollator on Tiki Island and in Maine gave him incredible joy. He enjoyed visiting with old friends and was always open to making new friends, young and old. He loved to talk, share stories and exchange with anyone willing to. Fred was curious about everything, a lifelong learner and remained an avid reader to his last days.

Fred was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Curtis John Payne; his sister, Frances V. Mul-lennax; his nephew Thomas Ratcliff and other family members.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Connie; his son Timothy and wife Linda of York, South Carolina and daughter, Sandra and husband, Dennis Dodgen of Tiki Island, Texas; his sisters, Joyce (Paul) Ratcliff of Medina, Ohio and Susan Beegle of Sun City, Arizona; his brother Glenn(Dianna) of Gilbert, Arizona; his sisters-in-law: Carol Payne of Palm Coast, Florida and Betty Irvine of Philippi, West Virginia; his brother-in-law: Vern Pall of Tuscon, Arizona and nine nieces and nephews: Wendy (Larry) Riordan), Gene (Margaret) Mullennax Jr., Chris (Jean) Irvine, Karen (Keith) Mills; Paul (Ashley) Rafcliff Jr., Michelle Petrenko; John (Diana) Payne, Kimberly (Todd) Graham and Melissa (John} Crowe and many great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by dear friends Shilo and Brad Rea of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Eban Lewis (Zach Mason) of Bethesda, Maryland, who was like a granddaughter to him. He was especially close to his great niece, Faith Crowe.

Beloved husband, dad, uncle and friend - he will be greatly missed by all. Paris farewell services will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. at Hospital Bichat- Claude Bernard. Cremation services will happen at Père Lachaise Crematorium on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 8:30 a.m. Final interment will be in the United States and a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Fred’s memory to the Houston Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation, to give others the gift of reading, which he adored his entire life.