Longtime newsman, columnist and author – Weldon Payne – has passed away. He was 92 years old.
Payne died on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
Payne served as the publisher of the Manchester Times for 17 years in the 1960s and 70s.
He worked for the Jackson Daily News in MS, Nashville Banner, Huntsville Times,
Associated Press in Birmingham, AL, and Tullahoma News before serving as publisher of the Manchester paper beginning in 1962.
Visitation with the family will be from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at Central Funeral Home in Manchester with services to begin at 2 p.m.
His full obituary is below:
Vernon Weldon Payne, 92, of Manchester, TN died on
Wednesday, April 6, 2022. He was born in Thrifty, TX on February 13, 1930
to Millard Vernon and Martha Jane Payne, and was married to Barbara Payne
for 65 years. He spent most of his childhood in Apex, AL and following
employment in the Fairfield, AL steel mills, he served in the United States
Navy during the Korean War. Traveling the world on the USS Daly and the USS
Caperton, both destroyers, was a highlight of his life and is where he
started a newspaper for the sailors, as he worked in the ship office,
reporting to the commanding officer.
Following his military service, Weldon graduated with a B.A degree from the
University of Alabama where he majored in journalism and fiction writing.
It was at Bama where he met and wed Barbara Bridges from MS who was then
teaching at MS College. Weldon was a licensed barber while attending the
Weldon was a gifted writer, artist, teacher, and newspaper man. He worked
for the Jackson Daily News in MS, Nashville Banner, Huntsville Times,
Associated Press in Birmingham, AL, and Tullahoma News. Beginning in 1962,
he served as editor and publisher of the Manchester Times for 17 years.
For over ten years, he taught numerous courses at Motlow Community College
and finished his career in Public Relations and Communications for
University of Tennessee Space Institute. It was here that he wrote the
published history of UTSI’s first 25 years.
Beginning in college and spanning over 55 years, Weldon wrote a weekly
column, Through the Pane, in local and Southeastern newspapers with wide
ranging topics including ordinary life experiences and reactions to daily
events. He published several works of fiction and collections of columns
and stories, including A Taste of Time. His stone carvings have been
exhibited at the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, TN as well as other venues.
Mr. Payne enjoyed quail hunting dogs, fishing, good literature, water
color, oils, and pastel painting, stone carving, plays, sunsets and he
loved his family. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Manchester.
Weldon is survived by his wife, Barbara, and three children and their
spouses: Chris and Cherry Payne, Gainesville, FL; Scott and Valerie Payne,
Goodlettsville, TN, and Jill and Hunt Dunlap, Macomb, IL. Weldon and
Barbara have eight grandchildren, Caroline Purvis (DeWayne), Alex Payne
(Staci), Kaitlin Maple (Conner), Oliver Payne (Savannah), Charlotte Payne,
Elliot Payne, Laura Dunlap, and Sarah Dunlap. There are ten
great-grandchildren, Claire Payne, Kennedy Purvis, Harper Payne, Nathaniel
Payne, Grant Purvis, Hayden Maple, Isaac Payne, Ivan Payne, Carter Purvis,
Quinn Maple. Weldon has one sister, Dr. Doris Carney, Manchester. His
parents Millard and Martha Payne and two other sisters, Ione and Pauline
and his two brothers Talmadge and Buddy are deceased, as well as a great-
grandson, Jackson Purvis.
Visitation with the family will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022, from
12noon until 2:00pm at Central Funeral Home in Manchester, TN. Funeral
services will be conducted immediately following visitation at 2:00pm with
Dr. Brenton Cox officiating. Burial will follow at Concord Cemetery in
Tullahoma, TN. Donations to Alzheimer’s TN (South Central TN Office, 207 N.
Jackson Street, Tullahoma, TN 37388) are appreciated. Donations can also
be made to First Baptist Church, Manchester, TN.