Alfred Jimmy Payne, 71, passed away Sept. 10, 2021, at OHSU Hospital in Portland, Ore. He was born Nov. 6, 1949, the fourth of four children, in The Dalles, Ore., to Alfred and Julia Payne. His three older sisters doted on him his entire childhood. He grew up in Grass Valley, Ore., attending grade school there and high school in Moro.
Jim married Shawn on Aug. 23, 1997, at the brand new Moro Fire Hall. They resided in Moro and celebrated their 24th anniversary this August, quietly at home together. They spent 30 total years together enjoying numerous adventures. They were best friends and shared many passions together including a love of serving and saving people.
Jim is survived by his wife Shawn; his sons Justin and wife Amanda Payne, and Travus and his significant other Becky Hilderbrand; his step-daughter Jennifer Lynch and her significant other Chad Zumwalt; grandchildren Zeke, Damian, Trista, Stiehl, Taylor, and Jude; sister Lois and her husband Larry Kidney; and many nieces and nephews.
Jim started out his life farming, after brief military service. He then moved on to construction and trucking, retiring from the Sherman County Road Department in 2011. He has often been found the last eight years helping his son Justin farm, in his spare time, happy to enlighten anyone who will listen with stories that start with “back when I was farming, we did it this way.” The maroon Peterbilt on the farm has been known as and will forevermore be “Dad’s truck.”
Jim lived his life to help others. He served in countless capacities, having a passion for fighting fire and responding to emergencies. He would respond day or night to anyone who needed help. He started with the Grass Valley Fire Department in 1981, joining the Moro Fire Department in 1992, where he served until his passing, for a total of 40 years of fire and 30 years of EMS. Jim was passionate in his pursuit of purchasing “his” prized fire truck, known as Attack 24, otherwise known as “Jimmy’s Truck.” Jim’s call sign will always be S 51 and was retired at his passing.
He was an AirLife volunteer for 20 years and he served on the 911 board. He was known over decades as a mentor to a long list of young fire/EMS volunteers. He was instrumental in fundraising for, the establishment of, and development of the current Moro Fire Hall, where he would marry his bride as a grand opening celebration. He served on the Moro City Council for six years. He was known to help out with Moro City Maintenance whenever he was asked (and sometimes when he wasn’t). He served as volunteer security for the Sherman County Museum. He was a member of the American Legion.
Jim was loyal with morning coffee with “the guys” since his retirement. He was an avid gun collector, and was always well armed and prepared for any emergent situation. He loved deer and elk hunting, many times celebrating his birthday during elk season. Anyone who knew Jim, knew his second greatest hobby (next to Fire/EMS) was telling stories. Jim could remember details from something that happened in 1968, or 1972, or 1987, or … without skipping a beat. He would gladly tell those stories to anyone who would listen, and even if you weren’t listening, he was going to tell it anyway. To those of us who were fortunate enough to listen carefully, we will have little pieces of Jim to share forever, passing along his gift of storytelling.
Family friend Bryan Cranston will be officiating funeral services on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Moro Fire Hall; private graveside service will immediately follow, with a light lunch for all afterwards. Potluck dessert welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Sherman County Emergency Services Volunteer Fund, PO Box 139, Moro, OR 97039.
Arrangements made by Spencer, Libby, and Powell Funeral Home, The Dalles, Ore.