David Emer Payne

David Payne

David Emer Payne, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on June 12, 2020 after a prolonged and valiant battle with cancer. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 29, 1944 to John W and Sara Harris Payne and spent a happy childhood in Provo, Utah.  He graduated from BY High School and then attended Brigham Young University where he earned a B.S. in sociology. He served faithfully as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Mission. He honorably served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Vietnam War.  He earned his Ph.D. in sociology/business administration at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Following his Ph.D. studies he met and married Grettle Haglund on March 16, 1973 in the Provo, Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together they raised six children. Their home was filled with love, laughter, music, and service.

His career as a professor and administrator at several universities concluded with his 14-year tenure as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Sam Houston State University.  While there, he introduced many new programs and innovations and left many friends. During his career, he was recognized as a leader in higher education both locally and around the world.  

David was a faithful member and lifelong leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings including Bishop and Stake President.  He was known for his loving temperament, his kindness, and his service to others.  He lived by the scriptural admonition to “love one another and serve one another” and the Sam Houston State University motto “The measure of a life is its service.”

He is survived by his brother William Dennison Payne, his sister Maralin Bennett, his wife Grettle, six children: Sara Elizabeth Anderson (Adam), John David Payne (JaNae), Samuel Harris Payne (Mollie), Daniel Joseph Payne (Christina), James Richard Payne (Regent), David Emer Payne II (Kate), and 26 grandchildren. At a future date, a memorial service will be held in Huntsville, Texas. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the David and Grettle Payne Endowed Music Scholarship at Sam Houston State University (https://shsu.edu/giving) or to Latter-day Saint Charities which, as modeled by Jesus Christ, seeks “to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick and afflicted” (https://www.latterdaysaintcharities.org). The family would welcome your leaving a favorite memory of David at https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/david-emer-payne/4029