James was born on Nov. 11, 1931 to Pleasant and Josie B. (Younts) Payne in Refugio. He was a gauger in the oilfield industry. He married Ruby Samford Sept. 16, 1965 and have been married for 46 years. He served in the US Navy for four years during the Korean War.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Three Rivers for over 50 years. He was also with the Evergreen Masonic Lodge of Three Rivers 50 years and also belonged to the Live Oak County VFW. After retiring he joined the Beeville Racing Pigeon Club and was also a member of San Antonio Shriners Organization.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Dorothy (Veselka) Payne, and a son Tommy Stark.
Survivors include his wife, Ruby Payne of Three Rivers; a son, Roy Allen Payne of Woodsboro; three step-sons, Fred (Christine) Stark III of Beeville, Earl (Linda) Stark of West Columbia, James (Monica) Stark and wife of Tuleta; four daughters, Nancy (Michael) Coquat of Three Rivers, Sharon Jones of Three Rivers, Rita (Allen) Trojcak of Refugio, Karen Brown of Austin; two brothers, Allison (Myrna) Payne of Woodsboro, Robert (Marie) Payne of Sea Brook; 16 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great- granddaughter.
Visitation was held Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 5-8 p.m., at Roberson Funeral Home in Three Rivers.
Services will be (today) Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church in Three Rivers, with Rev. Harry West officiating service.
Burial will follow at the Three Rivers Cemetery.
Services entrusted to Roberson Funeral Home, Three Rivers.