John Edwin Payne of Tucson, AZ died Thursday, April 27, 2017. He was born December 30, 1935 in Longworth, TX, the son of John H. Payne and Winnie Pauline Harvey. He did not spend much time in Longworth as his parents followed other Payne family members to Arizona. His very young years were in Amado, AZ and then his family moved to Marana where the Payne family had already established several farms.
John graduated from Florence High School in 1953 and then attended the University of Arizona where he received a Bachelor degree in Education. John, with the help of his uncle started a 640 acre farm in Florence which was in the family until 1978. He then relocated his family to Cochise, AZ where he farmed and was involved with the Cochise school board, including serving as President of the school board. He was also involved in 4-H including being a 4-H leader.
In 1972, he moved his family to Marana, AZ. As his sons grew, they became more involved in sports and John was always more than willing to travel across southern Arizona to see games and continue to be involved in his son’s accomplishments as they grew. The Payne family had a part in the Marana farming community from the early 1940s to 1980 when John decided that he needed to follow other family members into the real estate market.
His years in the farming and ranching business gave rise to his heightened interest in cowboy music. He originally became involved in the Western Music Association and later helped organize the Arizona Cowboy Symposium where he held the office of President. He had the opportunity to meet legends like Gene Autry, Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings and Bob Wills over the years.
John also renewed his interest in the food industry with the formation of Tri Jay Marketing. Working with AZ distributors like Shamrock, Morrisons and Taylor Bros and grocers like Fry’s and Smith’s Foods, he and his partner developed a market for ten different food manufacturers and at the same time acquired and managed 24 apartment.
Memorial services will be at 1:00pm, June 3, 2017 at the Marana Mortuary with Ranchhands and relatives officiating. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Arizona Cowboy Symposium Association scholarship fund, 1410 S Corsica Pl. Tucson, AZ 85748- 7615 may be considered.
He is survived by 4 sons, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and his loving partner and best friend, Judy.