Melvin Billy Payne, 78, of Murphy, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, at his residence.
He was a native and lifelong resident of Cherokee County, and the son of the late Arthur and Meredith Payne.
Melvin was a school teacher at Murphy Middle School and Hiwassee Dam Middle School for more than 30 years. He was a self-employed logger. Melvin enjoyed fishing.
He was a member of Swanson Baptist Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Sara Lee Ann Payne; one brother, Arvel Payne; and one sister, Margie Stewart.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Louise Payne; two sons, Doug Payne and wife Sandy and Don Payne and wife Michelle, all of Murphy; one daughter, Denise Ledford Mealer and husband Jennis of Murphy; one brother, Kent Payne of Farner, Tenn.; three sisters, Sue Swafford of Conover, Barbara Locklear of Hickory and Brenda Jones of Murphy; and six grandchildren, Jeremy Payne and wife Lauren, Benjamin Payne, Rachel Payne, Gabrielle Payne, Jessica Payne and Dakota Ledford; and three great-grandsons, Zeke, Eli and Carter Lee Payne.
A private graveside service was held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at Swanson Baptist Church Cemetery. Eulogies were given by his grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Swanson Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Andy Ware, 21 Annie Jones Road, Murphy, NC 28906.
You may send tributes to the Payne family at www.townson-rose.com.
Townson-Rose Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.