Edgar Donald Payne Jr. was born on March 27, 1927, in Mason City, Iowa. He was the son of Edgar and Dorothy Payne. Don spent his childhood years in Mason City, attending school there and graduating from Mason City High School.
Don served in the United States Navy from July of 1945 until August of 1946, serving as Fireman First Class on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bunker Hill. The Bunker Hill sailed the Pacific Ocean as part of Operation Red Carpet, acting as a transport ship at the end of WWII, bringing soldiers home from the war.
Upon his discharge, Don returned to Mason City and attended Mason City Junior College (NIACC). He then joined his father as a builder/remodeler in the Mason City area.
Don married Frances Joyce Kuhn in Mason City on May 30, 1948. They lived there until 1954, when they moved to Spencer to partner with his brother-in-law, Al Schmidt, in their company, Aldon Construction. In the early 1960s Don and Harry Noel platted the Southmoor Addition, where he built many homes. In the 1960s and 1970s he owned and operated Home Lumber in south Spencer.
Don was a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. He served as councilman-at-large for the Spencer City Council from 1972-76. In 1977, Fran and Don moved to the Lakes area, living first on West Lake Okoboji and then in later years, Lower Gar Lake. Don served on the Milford Utility Board from 1999-2006.
Don and Fran were members of Bethany Lutheran Church in Spencer for many years, where Don was baptized and confirmed in 1955. After moving to the Lakes, they became members of First Lutheran Church and later Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church.
Don was an avid card player and golfer. He loved a good boat ride on West Lake Okoboji, meeting his buddies for coffee and his beloved dog, Snickers. He played cribbage with his wife, of 64 years, every morning.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers: Kirby M. Payne and Lowell R. Payne.
He is survived by his wife, Frances; his son, Jonathan (Peggy Poutre) of Arnolds Park and their daughters, Nicole Norgaard (Nathan), Jamie and Courtney; his daughter, Jennifer Rindsig (Steven), of Sioux Falls, S.D. and their children, Matthew, Stephanie and Christopher; his son, Thomas, of Lodgepole, Neb.; and daughter, Kelby; and his daughter, Annissa Payne Baker (Roger) of Geneva, Switzerland and children: Sebastian, Avery and Genevieve; great-grandsons: Tate Norgaard and William Rindsig Sanders; many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Turner Jenness Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.