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Originally published: 2013-06-10 14:37:54
Last modified: 2013-06-10 14:38:39

Earl Brown Payne

Earl Brown Payne, 86, died Saturday, June 8, 2013, following a period of declining health.

He was born in Watauga County on August 30, 1926, and was a son of the late Edgar and Blanche Brown Payne. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Edna Holubek.

Mr. Payne was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II. Following his retirement from the NC Department of Transportation, he enjoyed helping his son, John, renovate the Alva Theater. He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church, where he formerly served as a deacon and enjoyed traveling on the church senior adult trips. Earl was a longstanding member of the Morganton Lions Club, with over 30 years of service. He also enjoyed gardening, stamp and coin collecting and was a proud Appalachian State University and NC State alumnus.

Mr. Payne is survived by his wife, Gladys Brown Payne; his sons, John Stephen Payne and Kim Sain of Morganton, and Edgar Lee Payne and Ann Larsen of Gastonia; and by grandchildren, Erin Payne, Alex Payne and Kelly Lassiter.

The funeral was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at First Baptist Church with Dr. Thomas A. Bland officiating. The family received friends following the service in the church parlor. The graveside was held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at The Sands Family Cemetery, Boone.

Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Payne's memory to First Baptist Church, PO Drawer 459, Morganton, NC 28680, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with arrangements.

Condolences may be made online at