Born June 8, 1940, in Stockton, the son of Charlie and Jean Payne grew up in Tracy and graduated from Tracy High School in 1958. After attending Modesto Junior College, he graduated with a journalism degree from San Jose State University.
Mr. Payne, who started writing sports in high school and college, became the first full-time sports editor of the Press in 1965.
Three years later, he joined the staff of the Mercury-News, where he covered the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders before specializing in high school sports and soccer. He retired after 33 years with the newspaper.
In the past decade, Mr. Payne moved from Santa Clara to Bluffton, where he continued as a freelance soccer writer.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanne Payne of Bluffton; three sons, Jon and Brady Payne of Douglasville, Ga., and Mark Payne of Oakland; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Grace Coastal Church, 15 Williams Drive, Okatie, S.C.
The family prefers memorial contributions in Mr. Payne’s name to the Grace Coastal Church building fund.