WILLIAM CROOKS PAYNE, 85 of Palm Harbor, FL formerly of Algonquin, IL and Arcola, IL, passed away at 10:16 A.M. (EST) on Monday, February 20, 2017 at the Meace Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, FL.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. on Monday, February 27, 2017 at the Broadway Christian Church, 1205 South 9th Street, in Mattoon, IL. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Monday at the church. Pastor Kevin Wolfe will officiate. Burial with Military Rites conducted by the Arcola VFW and the Arcola American Legion will be in the Arcola Cemetery at 2:00 P.M. on Monday.
Mr. Payne was born on July 7, 1931 in Janesville, WI. He was a son of William and Bertha Inanda (Crooks) Payne. He married his college sweetheart, Shirley Norene Herrmann on April 13, 1957 in Rhinelander, WI.
He is survived by his wife Shirley of Palm Harbor, FL, daughter, Kaylin Johns and her husband Jeff of Arcola, IL, four grandchildren, Mallory Golden of Lebanon, IL , Alexander Johns of Arcola, IL, Andrea Mellum and Brenna Mellum both of Columbus, OH and great-grandson, Michael Golden of Lebanon, IL.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his youngest daughter, Kerri N. Mellum and three sisters, Doris, Ruth and Katherine.
Mr. Payne was a Veteran of the Korean War serving in the Army from 1952-1954. Following his military service, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1958 and started his teaching career at Dundee High School in Dundee, Illinois. He then began working in industry as an engineer at Oak Manufacturing in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Discovering that he missed working with students, he returned to teaching at Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois teaching physics and then electronics and chemistry until his retirement. During his time at Barrington he continued his education at Northern Illinois University earning a master’s degree in Educational Administration. He also served on the District 300 school board in Dundee, Illinois for seven years. After his retirement from teaching in 1992, he continued to substitute at Barrington High School and later at Arcola High School. Through his teaching he touched the lives of hundreds of students, several of whom have stayed in contact with him and occasionally still visited him. He was a member of the Congregational Church of Algonquin, Illinois where he enjoyed singing tenor in the choir for many years.