George Ernest Payne
George Ernest Payne, 89, departed this life on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, after a brief illness.
At his request, no funeral service will be held.
George was born September 16, 1928 in Manhattan, New York, to the union of James and Muriel Payne. He was lover of ladies, animals, sharp clothes, natural medical remedies, poetry, and gadgets. George’s appreciation of the theatre, traveling, bowling and Braves baseball was shared with his children and grandchildren.
The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. He worshipped his wife, Julia Luckie (deceased), an administrative assistant, who he married almost 55 years ago, and with whom he raised three children from their previous marriages, Keith, Vanessa and Brent. He loved his mother, Muriel Hall Payne (deceased), who with the help of her daughter Irma Payne Coleman (deceased), raised George and his brother James (deceased). He cherished all his family and friends with whom he could share mind-provoking commentary or humorous stories. One of his regrets was not seeing his girl, Hillary Clinton, elected President.
George’s passion was caring for animals. As a point of pride, he would often say, “I like animals more than people”. He began taking in stray dogs and cats as a child and continued this practice for a lifetime. Dogs and cats simultaneously lived in harmony in his home, while racoons and squirrels were provided food and water outdoors. George and Julia were donating members of numerous animal protection societies.
He took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his own: a crisp shirt (occasionally a Hawaiian print), pants designed by the fashion house Haband, a leather belt clipped with his keys and cell phone, a blazer with two pens in the outer lapel pocket, and a pair of ‘comfortable’ sneakers.
George was known for his signature daily-morning concoction of distilled water, Ingles’ cider vinegar and Lake Lure, NC raw honey, proclaimed by him to keep away asthma and other ills. He swore by the cup-of-hot-chocolate-a-day theory of cognitive nutrition, and enjoyed his monthly subscription of coffee from the Café du Monde in New Orleans.
He excelled at completing puzzles (an 8-foot wide depiction of NYC is framed in his home), growing crepe myrtles, reading the daily AJC and any poetry book he could get his hands on, following those up with Lee Child novels, being the secret neighborhood watch at his picture window, and assisting neighbors whenever possible. He loved to use his gadgets to test car batteries, tires, alternators and appliances in the house, and was absolutely content to continue using a flip-phone (when he remembered to carry it with him).
Mr. Payne attended the High School of Commerce in NYC, attended C.W. Post for Electrical Engineering and completed courses at Georgia Tech. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Private in 1951, serving as an artillery instrument specialist, attended leadership academy, and was honorably discharged in 1953 as a Sergeant. After his work at Grumman Aeronautics on one of the first space shuttles as computer engineer, George worked for many years as Manager of Communications and Computer Operations for MARTA.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his son and spouse, Keith and Kris Payne; daughter, Vanessa; stepson, Brent; grandchildren and spouses, Shaka and Stephanie Mitchell, Meena and Sylvain White, Sean and Malerie Payne and Stephen Payne; five great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends throughout the United States and Bermuda.
The family would also like to thank the staff of the A.G. Rhodes Health and Rehabilitation Centre who took great care of him prior to his passing.
Please accept my condolences for the loss of Mr. Payne. May the Bible’s promise of a resurrection comfort you at this difficult time. (Acts 24:15) Warm Regards, Kay