Eugene "Gene" Payne
Eugene "Gene" Payne
DEGRAFF, MINNESOTA - EUGENE "GENE" D. PAYNE, AGE 76, OF ALEXANDRIA, FORMERLY OF DEGRAFF, DIED ON TUESDAY EVENING, AUGUST 8, 2017. VISITATION WILL BE HELD FROM 5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM, ON MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017, AT OUR REDEEMER'S LUTHERAN CHURCH IN BENSON, AND CONTINUE FROM 10:00 AM TO 11:00 AM ON TUESDAY. A MEMORIAL SERVICE WILL BE HELD ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2017, AT 11:00 AM. AT OUR REDEEMER'S LUTHERAN CHURCH IN BENSON. INTERMENT WILL FOLLOW THE SERVICE AT OUR REDEEMER'S LUTHERAN CHURCH CEMETERY. FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS ARE WITH THE ZNIEWSKI FUNERAL HOME OF BENSON.
Eugene "Gene" Dennis Payne was born on August 30, 1940 in Benson, Minnesota the son of Mathilda "Tillie" (Schoen) and Alvin Payne. He was born in Benson and was baptized and confirmed at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in DeGraff, Minnesota. Gene attended country school at District #56. He went on to complete four years at the West Central School of Agriculture at Morris, Minnesota, a special high school for agriculture and boarding school. Today this campus is the University of Minnesota - Morris. He was active in cattle judging while at Ag school. Gene grew up on the family farm south of DeGraff. He was active in 4-H and showed registered Angus cattle. After completing his education, Gene joined and served in the Minnesota National Guard and Reserve. He also helped as a ring man for his dad's Auctioneering business. Gene went on to begin farming. In his early years he raised cattle and swine along with crops. Later the farming operation consisted of various crops including corn, wheat, soybeans, and sugar beets. He was involved with the Southern Minnesota Sugarbeet Coop in Renville, Minnesota. He was a land steward and was involved with the Shakopee Creek Watershed. Gene also served on the Grace Township Board. After he retired from farming he continued to raise sweet corn and had a stand in Montevideo. Gene had an interest in flying and pursued obtaining his private pilot's license in 1969. He was part owner in AE & T Inc. that owned several planes including a Beechcraft Musketeer, Cessna Skylane 182, and a rebuilt vintage Aeronica Sedan. Through Gene's lifelong love of flying he logged many hours in the planes making parts runs for the farming operation and crop checking from the air. He and his family joined the Minnesota Flying Farmers organization in the early 1970's and were also members of the International Flying Farmers. Gene and his family traveled in Minnesota and other chapter conventions in the United States and Canada. He served in the various Chapter offices several times over the years. Creating lifelong friendships and bonds that formed a large extended family and many cherished relationships. Gene piloted on several flying tours including Mexico in 1976, IFF Guatemala Central America tour in 1990, and Alaska in 1992.
Gene met Katy Iverson and they were married on September 16, 1961 at Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Benson. They raised four children on the family farm Brad, Julie, Greg, and Kim. This union was blessed with over 46 years of marriage. Gene enjoyed spending his time visiting with relatives and friends. He enjoyed many fishing trips to Fowl Lake and McFarland Lakes in Northern Minnesota, many Central Minnesota lakes, the Missouri River, Lake of the Woods and Lake Winnipeg ice fishing. He moved to Alexandria in June of 2015 to be closer to the lakes area to enjoy fishing. He was called from this life on Tuesday evening August 8, at his home in Alexandria.
Gene is survived by his children Brad of Alexandria, Julie of Plymouth, and Kim of Carlos (Brian Gehrls) of Fulda. He is also survived by brothers Doug (Marion) Payne and Tom Payne. He is preceded in death by his parents Alvin and Tillie, his wife Katy in 2002, his son Greg in 1989, and a step mother Doris Payne. Blessed be his memory.