Robert D.. Payne, 92, of Evergreen, CO, died in his sleep early on Valentine’s Day, 2017 in Golden, CO. He was born on October 8, 1924 in Memphis, MO to Jeanette B. and Philip D. Payne, who inspired his love of music, the outdoors and gardening. Graduating from Memphis High School in 1942, he attended University of Missouri. Joining the Navy V-12 program in 1944, he studied at Tulane University until he received orders for the Pacific Fleet for the rest of WWII.

He returned to MU, earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and began his career at General Electric in Schenectady NY, where he and Ruth married in 1950 and started their family. Recalled during the Korean conflict, Lt. Payne served as Chief Engineer on the USS Murray and was Honorably Discharged in 1954. In 1957 the family moved to Denver and Bob serviced utility, steel, mining and brewing industries in his 37-year career as a GE Applications Engineer. He was proud of successfully troubleshooting and resolving problems for the Eisenhower Tunnel and Henderson Mine. He also found time for gardening, golfing, fishing, backpacking and sailing, and above all, skiing (and singing) with the family.

Bob and Ruth moved to Evergreen in 1990 and delighted in community at Church of the Hills where he served as Deacon and Elder, joined several Walks to Emmaus and volunteered with Evergreen Christian Outreach. They loved dancing at Mt Vernon Country Club and traveling the world with Ports of Call, with Friendship Force and sailing with friends.

Bob cared for Ruth in her last years with assistance from Mount Evans HHC & Hospice. Thereafter, he volunteered annually at Mount Evans’ July 4th Freedom Run. He was an active member of SkiMeisters for over 20 yrs, skiing until age 87 and could often be found hiking the Bergen Peak Trail not far from his home, where he lived until Dec 2016.

Preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Jensen (2001) and siblings Carolanne Payne and Philip E Payne in Missouri. Bob is survived by children David, Susan and Dexter (Sindhu), all in Colorado.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Church of the Hills, 2 p.m. on April 2, 2017. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Mount Evans Home Health Care and Hospice ( or Church of the Hills (

Bob’s remains will be interred beside Ruth’s, with a ceremony for family and friends in Memphis, MO later this year.