On Saturday November 14, 2020, Raymond Elbert Payton passed from this life peacefully and without pain. His steadfast faith comforted him in knowing he would soon be reunited with loved ones who preceded him in death.
Ray was born December 14, 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas to Elbert Claude Payton, Jr. and Vivian Coleen Franks Payton. He was preceded in death by his wife of 29 years, Kay Hendricks Payton, his parents, and sister, Sharon Hays. Also preceding him was John “John Boy” Prestridge, his lifelong friend and adventure partner.
In 1988, Ray married his soulmate Kay. Together they made their dream come true by moving to Riggins, Idaho and building a log house on the side of a mountain. Although he had lived in Texas for forty plus years, Idaho quickly became home. Ray and Kay made many wonderful friends in their new home state, which was the perfect spot to enjoy their love of hunting, fishing, and gardening. Ray joined the Idaho County Sheriff’s Department where he worked until his retirement 14 years later. Friends and family knew Ray as a great storyteller and his life and adventures in Idaho provided him with a vast amount of material for his stories, which may or may not have been slightly embellished. He could captivate an audience for hours. His friends were scattered around the country and included people he grew up with, people he met in his law enforcement years, people he guided in the back country or on the Salmon River, people he met at The Ballard House and medical facilities that cared for him and Kay during their illnesses, and even people he only knew on Facebook. Regardless of how they knew him, they loved his stories.
Ray is survived by his son, Clint Payton and his wife, Lacey, daughter, Amy Payton, step-son, Derek Savage, step-daughter, Sheryl Gillespie, thirteen grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, sister, Mary Cotten and her husband Lee Roy, sister, Patricia Hollenbeck, numerous nieces and nephews, and ex-wife, Phyllis Payton. R.I.P. #2715
A memorial will be held in the spring in Riggins, ID.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Pullman Church of Christ PO Box 25 Pullman, WA 99163
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