Bill was born on April 26, 1925 in Painted Post, N.Y., to the late Arthur and Helen Payne. He grew up in the Corning, N.Y. area, one of five siblings, and later worked with his dad and uncle at Payne’s Hardware, Painted Post. Bill was known for his personal work ethic and talented singing abilities in the high school musicals.
Bill was called by the Lord into full-time Christian ministry. To prepare for this calling in his life, Bill attended and graduated from Nyack Missionary Institute (now Nyack College), in Nyack, N.Y. Bill participated in many college activities there, including being the tenor in a quartet called the Gospelaires Quartet with members, Homer Klinsing, Jim Shields, and Dave Mangham.
It was at Nyack Missionary Institute that Bill met his future wife, Marian. Following Bill’s ordination and marriage, together they honored the Lord for 48 years in Christian ministry under the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination serving in various pastorates: Sidney, N.Y.; Newark, N.Y.; North Caldwell, N.J.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Erie, Pa.; Wellsville, N.Y.; and Seaford. Along with his pastorates, Bill was an evangelist and guest speaker at innumerable camps, revival meetings, and special events, including introducing Elizabeth Dole at an international church conference. His Christian ministerial service continued for approximately two more years serving in Addison, N.Y. Upon retirement, Bill relocated to Shell Point, Ft. Myers, where he continued to serve his Lord in different capacities. Summer months were still spent at “the farm,” located near Campbell, N.Y.
Bill was universally loved and respected by everyone who knew him because he loved them so well! Bill’s first passion was for the Lord. Bill spent time in the Word of God and in intercessory prayer for all he knew and for those that the Lord placed upon his heart. Bill was a “people person.” This energetic man always used the conversation to point people to Jesus Christ: “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
This spiritual commitment was also reflected in the outpouring of love he had for his family. How he relished spending time with them! Bill was an avid hunter, fisherman, sports enthusiast, writer, collector of hats, and humorist. The name of his favorite sports team, for example, was dependent upon which family member’s home he was visiting. For several years, Bill visited his children and their families following Marian’s passing to Heaven. In 1998, Bill and Phyllis Olmstead of Lake City, Fla., were married. The love in the hearts of the Payne’s was enveloping and positively enlarged!
Bill is survived by his wife, Phyllis, of Ft. Myers; two daughters, Darleen Payne Boon (Steve) of Ft. Myers and Colleen Payne of Chestertown, Md.; two sons, William Payne (Lynne) of North Easton, Mass. and Thomas Payne (Ida) of Warwick, N.Y. He is also survived by two stepdaughters, Linda Berghmans (John) of Largo, Fla. and Darla Binge (Wayne) of Seminole, Fla.; one stepson, Dan Olmstead, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; three sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews with their families.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Marian; three sisters; one brother; and three brothers-in-law.
Bill had a special, great love for each of his 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, remembering them in prayer, by name, each day!
A calling hour will be held on Saturday, July 13, at Haughey Funeral Home, 216 E. First St. in Corning, N.Y., from 10 to 11 a.m. where funeral services will follow at 11 a.m., with Dr. Rob Reimer and the Rev. Jeff Quinn officiating.
A celebration of life service will be held in the early fall at Shell Point, Ft. Myers.
The family wants to specifically thank the Pavilion and medical staff of Shell Point for their stellar and tender, compassionate care of our beloved one, Bill. Thank you to all family and friends for expressions of love and prayers.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to the following: The Christian and Missionary Alliance, c/o The Great Commission Fund, 8595 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920, or Hope Hospice, 9470 Health Park Circle, Ft. Myers, FL 33908.