Thomas Payne Obituary – Death Notice and Service Information

Thomas Bradley Payne, 76, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, December 23, 2021 in Cedar City, Utah. He was born on Friday, November 30, 1945, the fifth of six children to Herman Matthew and Hannah ‘Valate’ Pickett Payne in Ogden, Utah. Called Brad as a child, he moved to Santa Barbara, California with his family at the age of six.

When Brad was twelve he was selected to star in a Disney television movie called The Pidgeon That Worked a Miracle. He played Chad, a crippled boy who raised carrier pigeons. His darling, a woman named Pidge, helped work a miracle in Chad’s life. Brad loved every aspect of the movie, but most of all he loved working with Pidge. Brad developed a great love for football and baseball during his childhood and this has remained with him throughout his life.

After Brad graduated from San Marcos High School, he got in his car, left Santa Barbara and the Brad name, and went to Provo, Utah as Thom to attend Brigham Young University. After three semesters at BYU, Thom joined the US Army. He served three years in the regular army with the 101st Airborne Division for basic training, advanced individual training (AIT), jumping school, infantry and officer candidate school (OCS). He also spent time with the 82nd Airborne Division. He spent his last year in Vietnam. He came home as 1st Lieutenant and returned to BYU with his first wife, Kay, to complete his BS in Business Management. There Thom joined the Utah National Guard and was qualified for Special Forces (Green Beret) and worked his way up to the rank of captain.

In 1973 he moved with his young, growing family to Southern California, where he joined the California National Guard and eventually rose to the rank of major. He spent a total of eleven years with the National Guard and six children, one of whom died shortly after birth. They also welcomed a Navajo, Georgia, daughter to their home for a while.

Thom worked in business and sales for most of his adult life, which gave him plenty of opportunities to travel the US and internationally. He met his best friend Lisa while working in Eugene, Oregon for two years. They married in 1991 and he added three more daughters to his family. His favorite saying was “Together we have a total of nine children. They are all boys, except for the seven girls!”

When Thom was 55 years old, he finally realized what he wanted to do “when he grew up”. He returned to school and earned his master’s degree and teaching license, and taught 7th grade math and science for most of his eighteen years teaching. He always said it was the funniest job he’d ever had.

Thom spent most of his life serving and serving in Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ. Most rewarding was his service as a parish clerk for three different dioceses. He really loved serving his Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. You could feel this great love in Thom’s presence. We will always remember Thom for his wonderful love for life, for people and, above all, for his happy, infectious laugh. Thom loved to laugh!

Thom leaves behind his wife: Lisa Hansen Payne, children: Cynthia Lee Diaz, Kristin Betty (Andy) Cox, Tamara Lynn Church and Thomas ‘Jason’ (Nancy) Payne; Stepchildren: Megan Mary (Kade) Gourley, Lydia Ruth (Kyle) Home and Hannah Elizabeth (Corey) Ostler, 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers: David Herman Payne and Gary Barton Payne.

Thom’s death was preceded by his parents: Herman Matthew and Hannah ‘Valate’ Pickett Payne, two sisters: Ilene May Critchfield and JoAnn Ross, one brother: Martin ‘Douglas’ Payne, one son: Adam Michael Payne, one daughter: Stacie Renee Payne, and one grandson: Travis Jacob Church.

To celebrate and to say “See you later” to Thom, you are invited to the following occasions: On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, a tour 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 12, 2022, a tour of 11:00 a.m. 12:30 am -12: 30 pm, service 1:00 pm All will be at Latter-day Saint Church of Jesus Christ, Cedar City West Stake Center, 725 South 1100 West, Cedar City, Utah. The funeral will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. in the Utah Veterans Memorial Park, Bluffdale, Utah, under the direction of the Southern Utah Mortuary and the Utah Army National Guard.

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