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Richard Stephen Payne, 63, of Port Angeles passed away on September 27, 2013.
He was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to John and Frances (Harter) Payne, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from Broad Ripple High School and attended Ball State University, Indiana University and Peninsula College.
Throughout his life, Richard loved to recall the adventures of his youth. Always a free spirit, Richard left Indiana at the age of 19 for Hawaii, where he took up surfing.
After working and saving there, he made his way to Australia, first to Sydney, where he worked in the Royal Botanical Gardens, and then on to the Northwest Territory, where he worked on a cattle ranch in the outback. He never tired of telling of the sites he saw, the people he met and the adventures he had there.
Upon returning to Indiana, he married Sharon Hartley.
Soon after Richard and Sharon were married, they moved to Philipsburg, Montana, where Richard became employed in the timber industry, working his way up in a sawmill and operating various dimensional lumber saws. He also worked on cattle ranches in Montana and then in Idaho, where their daughter, Valerie, was born.
The family moved back to Indiana for a few years, but the West was where Richard felt he belonged.
He was hired by a sawmill south of Forks as a sawyer and moved the family there. They lived along the Bogachiel River. Amidst the downturn in the timber industry, Richard and family moved to Port Angeles.
Richard and Sharon later divorced.
The Olympic Peninsula was where he wanted to stay, and he remained in Port Angeles for the rest of his life.
He was a member of the Port Angeles Business Association and attended Bible study and church at Independent Bible Church.
He passed away from complications of surgery.
He is survived by his daughter, Valerie (Mark) Custodio; his brothers, Rob Payne (Steve Katona) and John (Sue) Payne; his nephew, Carl Payne; his aunt, Betty (Tom) Garrison; and many cousins and family.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother, John and Frances (Harter) Payne; uncles Blaine Harter, Joe (Marge) Harter and Jack (Doris) Payne; and aunt Dorthea (Kenny) Knapp.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Nov. 10, 2013