Alfred Payne Jr.

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alfred Payne Jr. was born at home in Tryon on July 14, 1926. His parents, Alfred Payne Sr. and Margaret Cole Payne, welcomed him as their first beloved child. Alfred attended Tryon Colored School for elementary school and then attended Stitt Junior and Senior High School in Manhattan. He and his family lived in Harlem during the post-Harlem Renaissance era, experiencing the dynamic cultural and social movement generated by neighbors like Arthur Mitchell and the Nichols Brothers. After high school, Alfred was drafted and served in the United States Army.
Upon his discharge, he returned to Tryon, where he began to work and raise a family.
He joined Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, having already accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in his early twenties. Alfred chose to raise his children in the church. So dedicated was the Payne family to Good Shepherd that two of his children, Margaret and Alfred III, were the church organists for many years.
The Payne family also supported the Roseland Community Center in Tryon. Alfred was a founding member of the Roseland Tennis Club. He was an avid tennis player and a lifelong fan of the sport. Alfred was also a local entrepreneur, having established Payne and Son Car Rental in the late 1970s.
While raising his family, Alfred first worked at Oak Hall, a hotel in Tryon, noted for such famous guests as F. Scott Fitzgerald. He left Oak Hall to begin working as a caretaker at The Cotton Patch, a local horse farm. He worked there for more than 40 years. During this period of his life, Alfred became a lover of horses, attending local horse shows and steeplechases every year. When Alfred retired, he was working as a security guard at Tryon Estates. In retirement, he continued his interests in music, tennis and horses.
God called Alfred home on Aug. 21, 2011, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, and three children, Alfred III, Patricia and Joyce, and a daughter-in-law, Michelle, as well as seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. His oldest child, Margaret, a gifted vocalist and pianist, went home to glory in 1996. He is also survived by two brothers, James and Ned, a sister, Barbara, a sister-in-law, Verlee, a brother-in-law, Sammie, a niece, Valerie, and nephews, Ulysses, Roderick and Eric. In addition, many other family, friends and former coworkers join the family in celebrating Alfred’s life.
Funeral services will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. The church is located at 150 Melrose Avenue in Tryon. Internment will be at Good Shepherd Cemetery immediately following the services. The family will receive visitors following the burial at a repast to be held at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, located at 814 Markham Road in Tryon.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 893, Tryon, N.C. 28782.
The family has entrusted arrangements to J.W. Woodward Funeral Home of Spartanburg, S.C.

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