Stephen Payne Obituary – The Arizona Republic

Steve was born in August 1940 to Charles and Janice Payne in Kansas City, Missouri and passed away on July 24, 2022. He was their firstborn and also the first grandchild of both sets of grandparents. Steve was the apple of everyone’s eye, so he got a lot of love and attention. His early years saw him spend a great deal of time on his maternal grandparents’ farm by the Missouri River in Missouri City, Missouri. Her memories remained vivid of driving the tractor with Grandpa Jim and sleeping on Grandma Clara’s big feather mattress. He also remembers feeding animals and chasing fireflies in the summer. Steve was a Boy Scout and attended Kansas City Central Methodist Church with his family. He enjoyed sports, especially baseball, and played on his school teams in grade school and high school. At age 14, Steve moved to Phoenix with his parents and younger brother, David, to find a drier climate for his father who suffered from chronic respiratory problems. He enrolled in Camelback High School and made some quick, lifelong friends who all remained close over the years. He became involved with the Aldersgate Methodist Church youth group, expanding his circle of friends in his new home town. Once again he would enjoy his favorite sport, baseball, playing for several years on the field in the American Legion League in Phoenix. Steve was a member of the Camelback Class of 1958 and remained active on their reunion committee until his passing. He spent some time at Phoenix College taking business classes before applying to work full-time in the plastics industry. He would spend 14 years working for several small businesses in Phoenix before striking out on his own with Plastifab, Inc. Starting in the back room of his friend’s paint shop, he successfully grew the business into an operation storefront on Indian School Road. Steve’s restless entrepreneurial spirit launched him into real estate and insurance. He reached a high point in his career as a developer specializing in automotive malls, a relatively new business at the time that relied on his creative and visionary spirit. His successful career ended with his retirement from Bank of America as Director of Mortgages. Looking back at his industrious high school demeanors, Steve always had a new car. He worked hard to earn money and rewarded himself with a new car about every two years. This love of cars and mechanical toys in general accompanied him throughout his life. He reportedly owns RVs, motorcycles, exotic collectibles, and boats. He even won first place in a drag racing contest with his 1959 Chevy Impala, his trophy still on display at his home. He would go on to be an active member of the Desert Boat and Ski club in driving and ski racing roles. Steve was a huge sports fan in general but loved NASCAR. For years he attended races in Phoenix, Fontana and Sonoma with his brothers and sons. “Those Payne Boys” as they became known. For his 60th birthday, he drove a real NASCAR race car at Phoenix International Raceway. What a rush it was for him! Steve would continue to apply his athletic knowledge and passion to coaching his sons’ Summer League baseball and Pop Warner football teams. He coached their Pop Warner Lobos team to the state championship in 1972. He married Cathy Butler, the love of his life 61 years ago and started a blessed family with two sons, Timothy and Christopher. Steve inherited his love for his family from his parents who predeceased him in 2010. Steve is survived by his wife, Cathy, sons Tim and Chris (Michele), brother David (Kathy), sister Debbie Childress (Robert), brother Kevin (Linda), brother-in-law Duane Butler (Beverley), sister-in-law Beverlee Matousek (Jim) and sister-in-law Carolyn Butler (Jack – with the angels). He also leaves behind his grandchildren Monica, Britney, Chase, Taylor, Colby, Tanner, Brianna and Gabriella. Great-grandchildren Aiden (with the angels), Ashlin, Greyson and Kaydan as well as many nieces and nephews will long carry his memory from coast to coast. Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on August 13, 2022 at the Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary at 6500 East Bell Road in Scottsdale with a reception to follow, casual dress – Hawaiian shirts. Start of the visit at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation in Steve’s name, located at 2929 East Camelback Road Suite #122, Phoenix, AZ 85016. For those unable to attend, the service will be streamed live on the following link: https https://vimeo.com/733713628

Posted on August 04, 2022

Posted in The Arizona Republic