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Donald's Story

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Donald E. Payne, 75, of Ashland, passed away Aug. 9, 2017, in Kings Daughters Medical Center due to complications from pneumonia.
Mr. Payne was born Jan. 31, 1942, to the late Charles and Mary Payne.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Dick Payne of Chicago, Ill.
He is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Sharon Payne; a son, Donnie and wife Kristen Payne of Louisville; two daughters, Angie and husband Aaron Boice of Vienna, W.Va. and Amy Johnson of Ashland; five grandchildren, Jamie and Sara Clevenger, Nicholas Clevenger, Eva Payne and Landon Nivens; his sister, Carolyn Payne of Lexington; a brother, Charlie Payne of Tennessee; and his cousin, Nancy Payne of Ashland.
Don is also survived by his lifetime best friends, Joe and Carla Skaggs of Russell and their children, Andy Skaggs of Washington, D.C, and Peggy McNair of Tampa, Fla.; and his two special fur babies, Sissy Elizabeth and Sassy Renee.
Don graduated from Ashland High School in 1960. He enlisted in the Army in September 1962 and was stationed in Germany and played in the Army Band. He was honorably discharged in September 1967.
He attended Morehead State University and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts and in 1971 with a Masters of Music Education.
He was a band director for many area schools including Rock Hill High School, Fairview High School, Greenup County High School, Coles Junior High, Summit Junior High, Paul Blazer High School and Boyd County High School, where he retired in 1998.
Don was a mentor for many young directors. He was a talented singer, arranger and trumpet player. He wrote arrangements for many of the area marching bands as well as River Cities Big Band and Portsmouth Wind Symphony. His arrangements of Sinatra classics were spot on and he sang them with the style and flare that few could master. His influence on multiple generations of children who he taught at all levels from beginner to very advanced high school students will live on forever.
Jesse Stuart wrote, "A teacher lives on forever through their students." It is the ripple effect, in which Don or Mr. Payne will live on forever.
Don was involved in The First Affairs, Now & Then and Old Friends dance bands as well as many musicals throughout the years. He was a recent member of Miles of Jazz band where he sang and played trumpet. He was a former member of Huntington Symphonic band and Portsmouth Wind Symphony.
Don recorded four CD's in his lifetime: 2011 - You Don't Know Me; 2012 - Young at Heart; 2012- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree; and 2013 - Back in the Day.
For 30 years, Don participated in the Booher Open Golf Classic in Maysville which was made up of area band directors far and wide.
The Don Payne Memorial Music Scholarship Fund has been set up at City National Bank in his memory by Terry and Mona Thompson.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, at Steen Funeral Home 13th Street Chapel in Ashland with The Rev. Keith Katterheinrich of South Ashland United Methodist Church officiating. Music will be provided by Anna Stephens and her son, Isaac.
Entombment will be in Rose Hill Burial Park Mausoleum in Ashland. Pallbearers will be Joe Skaggs, Terry Thompson, Donnie Payne, David Miller, Jamie Clevenger, Nicholas Clevenger and Aaron Boice.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 and after 1 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Condolences may be sent to steenfuneralhome.com.
Published on August 10, 2017
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