It is with great sadness we mourn the loss of John Payne, who was lovingly cared for at home, until death took him in his sleep, on Monday, June 25, 2012, just as he had hoped for.
John was born on September 5, 1934, in Ascot, England.
He leaves to mourn his wife, Shirley (nee Smith) of 53 years of marriage; his four children, Belinda Knopf (James), David (Shelley), Shari-Lee Godin (Gary), and John (Sheri); his eight grandchildren, Amanda Janzen (Matt), Jason and Lauren Godin (Peter), Dawn-Marie Walls-Dahl, Shane and Ryan Payne, Ashley and Carter Payne; and two great grandchildren, Sophie Janzen and Brooke Zoppa.
John was the youngest of six children and the only one to immigrate to Canada.
He is survived by his beloved twin sister, Barbara (Les) Bird; brother-in-law, Peter Knight; nephew, Barry (Joy) Smith; and many nieces and nephews scattered across the English countryside.
Oh, how he loved to reminisce about England, and his last conversation with his sister was truly a highlight in his last days.
John was predeceased by his parents, William and Annie Payne; his siblings, Joan Payne, Gerald (Moira) Payne, Kathleen Knight, and Ethel (Howard) Smith.
John so enjoyed his first visit to Canada while serving with the RAF under NATO in 1953, that when the opportunity presented itself, he joined the RCAF in London, England and moved to Canada in 1957.
He was stationed in Winnipeg as a navigation instructor and it is here that he met Shirley Smith, who later became his wife on December 27, 1958.
He then moved with his new bride to Chicoutimi, Quebec, where he was stationed in Bagotville, flying CF100’s, with the 432 Squadron in the Air Defence Command.
He served with the RCAF and left in the fall of 1962.
After the family returned to Winnipeg, he acquired his Electronic Technician’s Diploma, which led him to Fort Frances in 1964, where he was employed with Boise Cascade until his retirement in 1992 as Electrical Supervisor.
He was active in the Royal Canadian Legion for many years, serving as President, Zone Commander and Sergeant at Arms. He enjoyed playing darts, bridge and the social scene—John and Shirley had many friends, and many a time sang the roof off. He was recognized for his years of service with a lifetime membership.
John loved sports of all kinds—yelling and pacing were not out of the ordinary. He loved to golf and curl, and for which we might add, was pretty darn good at them.
He also loved to garden and walk the yard daily. Due to his illness, the lawnmower, hoe and planting were passed down to his kids, who did their very best to maintain the yard to his high standard.
John was not a material man; he lived life simply, with a good gait, a cold beer and a family who loved him just as he was.
At John’s request there will be no funeral, and if friends so desire, donations may be made in his memory to a charity of choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.northridgefuneralhome.com