Gary Craig Payne, 66, passed away at his home in Dunnellon, FL on July 15, 2021.
Gary was born in Redington Beach FL. on 3/22/1955 to Roy and Dorothy Payne where he was brought home from the hospital in a fruit basket to live in a small cabana at the Tides Bath Club. Gary was very self reliant and moved out on his own at the young age of 13. He attended school and worked until he enlisted in the army. He served in Vietnam and later Germany. He took full advantage of exploring Europe while in Germany. Upon his return he attended the University of Florida. He had vast knowledge in many areas due to holding jobs in numerous fields. He retired from Hillsborough County Water Resources. Having 4 sisters, he was always a protector and champion of women. He volunteered for nine years as security for the Krewe of Pandora and on numerous occassions saved women from serious injury during parades. He was a proud and long time member of the Tampa Rough Riders. He enjoyed the charity work and the comradery of other members. He lit up the room with his smile and sense of humor. Whether it was stories or bar tricks, he loved to entertain and make people laugh. Animals sensed his kind spirit and were drawn to him.
He was predeceased by his parents and recently his sister Connie Becker.
He is survived by his wife and soul mate of 20 years, Lisa Payne; sister Bonnie Schillman, sister Helen Disken and her husband Al and sister Joy Chapman; sister-in-laws Dr. Carolyn Abernathy and JulieAnne Parker, many neices and nephews and his fur babies Barkley and Sassy.
He recently moved to Dunnellon where he spent endless hours on the patio enjoying the beauty, wildlife and serenity of Lake Rouseau.
A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at 1 p.m. July 31 at the Payne residence.