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Gary  Earl  Payne

Obituary for Gary Earl Payne

October 19, 1946 - November 5, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 73


Gary Earl Payne, 73, passed away at his home on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Born the son of Eda Farnsworth and Vivan Clayne "Tim" Payne, Gary was born on October 19, 1946 in Lordsburg, NM and spent his formative years in Douglas, AZ and Albuquerque, NM with his two younger sisters, Verna and Brenda.

He attended Brigham Young University where he met his future wife, Joyce Butler. They eventually married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 27, 1970. Their first child, Jennifer, was born the next year with a disability. Gary felt a strong sense of responsibility to his wife and child and, after graduating—the first in his family to graduate from college—he earned a Masters Degree in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Management in New Mexico while working 8 hours a day driving trucks to provide insurance for Jennifer, his wife, and their new baby, Sherrie.

They moved to San Antonio where three more children were born: Christopher, Christina, and Sara. (Emily was born in Laredo.) He worked for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and eventually for two different food import companies. In 1985, with six young children, a stay-at-home wife, and a mortgage, his employer went bankrupt, and Gary was out of a job—an event he would later call one of the greatest things to happen in his life.

With no immediate opportunities, Gary decided to make his own opportunity and started Interamerican Quality Foods, Inc., a frozen food importing business. He created relationships with frozen food plants in Mexico—a place he had served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints almost two decades earlier. He developed relationships with some of the largest food manufacturers in the U.S. As president of the Texas-Mexico Frozen Food Council, Gary worked met former Mexican presidents Vicente Fox, Luis Echeverria, and Jose Lopez. He worked with various U.S. secretaries of state and various governors and mayors in Mexico. The solid relationships he formed became the foundation for Networking 101 when he later taught employment classes for members of the Church in northern San Antonio.

No one needed to announce his presence; you could hear him when he walked into a building. He could be firm and direct. He could be gregarious. He took pride in his well-worn clothing and driving old cars into the ground—a nod to his frugal upbringings. His frugality became legendary. He would refuse to buy a Pepsi because he could get it for twenty cents cheaper across town. He refused to run the heater because he had blankets.

Despite his personal frugality, he was eager to freely give of all his resources to benefit and bless the lives of anyone with whom he came in contact. Gary loved filling in the gaps that could change the trajectory of a person's life. When he heard of personal suffering, he deliberated on what the person might need and how he could provide it. It didn't matter if the person was a complete stranger. He generously gave money, but he also sacrificed long hours counseling, teaching, and connecting others. For every family member, friend, colleague, church member, or neighbor who has a story about how Gary Payne helped them financially, there are many more from people whom Gary helped in secret. His generous influence has had a ripple effect.

With all that Gary accomplished in his life, he was quick to say his greatest success was his posterity. He loved his family and we are grateful to carry on the legacy of kindness and charity that Gary personified.

Gary is preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Elizabeth Butler, his father, Vivan Clayne Payne, and his mother, Eda Farnsworth Payne. He is survived by his wife, Vicki Wade and his children and their spouses: Jennifer, Sherrie Lamb (Mike), Christopher (Maria), Emily Benedict (Damon), Christina Gregory (Chris), and Sara Pendleton (Zach), his sisters Verna Bews (Lawrence) and Brenda Bills (Randy).

Monday: November 11, 2019
11:00 am
31355 Stahl Lane
Bulverde, TX 78163

A viewing will be held prior to the
funeral service from 9:30-10:45am

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Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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