(Elmer) Palmer Payne, 88, of Boothbay Harbor, Maine passed away after a brief illness at Maine Medical Center surrounded by family on Sept. 2, 2018.
Palmer was born on July 13, 1930 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Elmer Curry Payne and Agnes Palmer Payne. He spent his early childhood in Cincinnati, Covington, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended grammar schools in Elmhurst and Villa Park, Illinois and junior and senior high schools in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1948; he was assigned to Army of Occupation in Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan in 1949, and served as a combat correspondent with Armed Forces Radio Service in Korea during 1950 and 1951. In March of 1951, during the airborne assault on Munsan-Ni, 18 miles behind enemy lines, he was able to make an audio recording while descending by parachute with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. He earned the Army Good Conduct Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with four battle stars, United Nations Korean Service Medal and Republic of Korea Service Medal.
Palmer’s civilian career in broadcast journalism began in Lynn, Massachusetts and took him to Concord, Keene and Manchester, New Hampshire, where he was in an Air Force C-47 which crashed. He was able to make a recording inside the plane during the crash.
He moved on to Burlington, Vermont, Albany, New York and Boston, Massachusetts, where he was a newscaster and reporter with WNAC and WRKO and The Yankee Network, anchorman on Channel 7 and he conducted a radio talk show, “Boston Forum.” He went on to 26 years in New York, where he worked for CBS, ABC and NBC radio, stations WINS, WNEW and WOR and was an anchorman on New York Public Television.
At Columbia University, he was an adjunct associate professor in the Graduate School of Journalism for eight years.
In 1994, he retired to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. He was the longtime adjutant and service officer of Post #36, American Legion. He assisted other veterans dealing with health and benefits issues with the VA. He was also a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.
He was active in town affairs and volunteer work, serving on the town’s port committee and budget committee. He was a selectman and chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Committee.
He was predeceased by his sons, Elmer Palmer Payne Jr. in 1985 and Thomas Palmer Payne in 1994.
He is survived by one son, John Mitchell Payne, and his wife, Dorothea, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and their two daughters, Elizabeth Marie Payne and Samantha Jane Payne; and one daughter, Jennifer Payne Roth, and her husband, David Roth, of Mebane, South Carolina and their two children. Palmer is also survived by his two dear friends, Thomas Woodin and his wife, Eileen King.
The Payne Family would like to extend their sincere appreciation and gratitude to both Tom and Eileen for their friendship, kindness and support.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. at Post 36, American Legion, Industrial Park Drive, Boothbay.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, Boothbay Region Historical Society, The American Legion or Disabled American Veterans.