George Dayton Payne III died in his sleep on Dec. 11 at the East Hampton house where he had lived for most of his life. He was 86. In his last years he had emphysema and vascular disease that resulted in the amputation of one of his legs.
Born in East Hampton on May 18, 1926, to George Payne Jr. and Viola Teale Payne, he graduated from East Hampton High School and went to college for a time before joining the work force. His many jobs included working as a mail carrier and at the Promised Land fish warehouse on Napeague, where he once had to contend with flooding during a hurricane. He also worked on Gardiner’s Island.
Mr. Payne served in the Navy from Aug. 15, 1944, to July 7, 1946, on the U.S.S. Douglas Fox. His final station was at Lido Beach in Nassau County.
He married Phyllis Denton in the late 1950s. The couple divorced in 1978. She died in 1991.
In warm weather, Mr. Payne enjoyed vigils on his porch during which “he liked to watch the cars go by,” said his daughter, Pamela Alvarez, who with her husband lived with Mr. Payne. He would share stories with anyone who would listen, which will be missed, she said.
Over the years, Mr. Payne enjoyed bowling in several leagues, whittling, gardening, fishing, and spending time at “Caldor East,” an exchange at the East Hampton Town recycling center. “He brought home more than he left,” his family said. He was involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Payne is survived by a sister, Agnes Wingo of Illinois. Another sister, Mary Payne Frayer, and a brother, Jessie Payne, died before him.
He was buried at Green River Cemetery in Springs, where a graveside service was held on Friday.