James Payne Obituary (1945 – 2021) – Middleton, ID



Middleton – 76 year old James Lee Payne of Middleton, Idaho passed away on September 24, 2021. He was born on January 27, 1945 to Edwin and Gladys Lee Payne, the youngest of three children. Ed and Gladys bought the family farm in 1935 where Jim was born and raised. He still cultivated this land to this day.

Jim attended Middleton Schools and graduated in 1963. After graduation he farmed and milked cows. On April 9, 1965 Jim married his high school girlfriend Glenda Mesler and they lived together in Middleton for 54 years of marriage until Glenda passed away in 2019. From this union in 1966 were born twins, Jerry and Larry. Larry died shortly after his birth. In 1969, another boy was born Greg, followed by their daughter, Joni in 1976.

The impact and scale of Jim’s presence and influence can be felt and seen in so many people and places. He had a deep and proud love for his children and grandchildren, extended family and friends. He was an avid farmer, cultivating almost all varieties of seeds and crops except trees. He was enthusiastic in supporting the farming community, the MHS rappelling club, sporting events supporting his children and grandchildren. He and Glenda hardly ever missed a game. He was always there for his grandchildren. He always found a way to give them the opportunity to work, as he did for a lot of other people as well. He was so selfless and the epitome of what would be the definition of a hard worker. He believed in the honesty of a handshake and the importance of keeping your word.

Jim really liked people. If you haven’t met Jim, you haven’t heard from a real comedian. No matter if you were a good friend or a random person on the street, he would always make jokes and make people laugh. He liked to tease the bank tellers or tell an old friend or the new one he had just created in the stands of one of the games.

Jim was also a man of many talents. He has been engaged in many hobbies over the years which have encouraged his children and grandchildren to adopt a fearless attitude to try new things. He enjoyed spending time on the lakes and reservoirs water skiing with his friends and family. He has mastered the dock jump on one ski. He also enjoyed packing on horseback from Grand Jean, Idaho, to camp and hunt elk. Many people learned to love hunting and horses because of Jim. He also enjoyed snowmobiling, another hobby that included family and friends finding themselves in other beautiful, rarely seen areas of Idaho. The call of rafting also found Jim. He showed many people the opportunities for adventure in Hells Canyon, paddling the “green room” in the Granite Rapids on the Snake River, then fishing the Steelhead later in the year in a jet boat. Another passion that he nurtured in his children, grandchildren and friends. Over the past few years, he and Glenda have discovered their love of the razor in the Owyhees, Mann’s Creek, and all over Idaho with family and friends. He was probably the best seller of Polaris razors that nobody knew.

Anyone who was lucky enough to know Jim knew he always had an opinion and was not afraid to share it. With an arm around your shoulder, so you couldn’t get away, he would tell you exactly how he thought something should be done.

Jim is survived by his children, Jerry (Gay) Payne, Greg (Pamela) Payne and Joni (Andy)

To reign. Eight grandchildren: Jake Kelley, Grady, Jeff, Hannah and Edwin Payne, Connor, Carson and

Lauren rules. One sister Edna (Larry) Davis, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Glenda, toddler son Larry, his parents Ed and Gladys, and his brother Orville.

Our family is grateful for the many long-standing friendships we have had and for the love and

the support we have received. Thank you everyone. Instead of flowers, the family asks you to donate to the Idaho FFA Foundation in honor of Jim.

Funeral services will be on Friday October 8, 2021 at Middleton Cemetery, Middleton, Idaho at 10:30 am. Friends can share a memory of Jim at www.flahiffuneralchapel.com

Jim wanted this to be a casual event, so jeans and hats are encouraged.

Published by Idaho Press Tribune from October 1-2, 2021.



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