COMMERCE – Donald Payne, 67, died Monday, December 21, 2009, at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
A native of Taylor County, he joined the United States Army and served for 23 years before retiring as a Sergeant First Class. During his Army career he served as a medic. He saw service in Vietnam where one of his jobs was “dusting off” the First Cavalry Division. He became the second most decorated soldier of the Vietnam War. Upon retiring from the military service, he was employed as a licensed practical nurse at Crystal Springs Nursing Home in Commerce.
Survivors include his wife, Jo Ann Payne, Commerce; daughter, Deborah Joe King, Cairo; sons, Jeff Eason, Fitzgerald, Michael Dennis Payne, Commerce, Toby Lewis and Kenneth J. Payne, both of Athens; sister, Dorothy Finn, Winder; brothers, Frank Payne, Lawrenceville, Wyman Payne and Bobby Payne, both of Lawrenceville; and 12 grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Thursday, December 24, in the chapel of Pasley-Fletcher Funeral Home in Thomaston with Pastor Sarah Hales officiating. Burial with full military honors followed in South View Cemetery.
Pasley-Fletcher Funeral Home, Thomaston, was in charge of arrangements.