Richard Payne

Richard W. “Dick” Payne, 85, died March 6, 2003, at Home Place Special Care Center, Oak Harbor, surrounded by the love of his family. Dick was born Sept. 7, 1917 in Ogden, Utah, to Lester W. and Beatrice (Boylin) Payne. He was a kind man who will remain forever in the hearts and minds of his family and friends.

Dick loved nature and all growing things. He was a forester by profession and remained involved with the natural environment during the 27 years that he was living on Whidbey Island. He was a Master Gardener, a Beach Watcher, a water commissioner and volunteer.

Dick worked for the U.S. Forest Service as an expert in timber management. He worked for the forests of Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming and knew them well. Perhaps his favorite job was being the forest ranger of the Teton Wilderness area south of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. In this largely roadless area he traveled by foot or horseback to maintain trails, fight fires and manage the guides and outfitters who brought folks to that beautiful area.

Dick loved people and had many close friends. He once remarked that the hardest thing about growing old was having your friends die. No doubt there are many that will think the same about Dick’s passing.

Dick was always known to step forward to do the right thing. He was the first volunteer from his community when the United States entered World War II and he served his country as a mapmaker in the Philippine Islands. Later, Dick helped start Cub Scouts in Utah and contributed his time as a volunteer to help build churches in the Northwest. He and Margaret have been active participants in many church and civic groups in Oak Harbor and Penn Cove communities and are current active member of the Methodist Church.

Dick is survived by his wife and companion of 62 years Margaret of Oak Harbor and brother Mark of Millbrae, Calif. He and Margaret place great value on family and raised three sons, Gary and his wife Sue who reside in Boise, Idaho, Dave who resides in Seattle and Randy and Joan Payne who reside in Oak Harbor. Dick was delighted to be a grandparent for Randy’s three sons Morgan, Cole and Bryce and he especially enjoyed time spent playing with his grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Oak Harbor.

Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association. Cremation was entrusted to Burley Funeral Chapel, Oak Harbor. This obituary is on-line at

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