Breckenridge Texan

John Mark Payne

John Mark Payne
June 20
06:17 2023

On Sunday, June 18, 2023, John Payne, also known as Woody to his siblings, passed away. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather who was better known as “Great,” one of the many favorite uncles (because he was a prankster), and a dear friend. His graveside service at the Breckenridge Cemetery will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 1, 2023, with Father Dias officiating.

John was born on September 8, 1950. He was the third child born to Joyce and Fred Payne of Breckenridge, Texas. John grew up in Breckenridge with his nine other siblings. He and his other six brothers were all altar boy servers at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for many years. He was also a member of the Breckenridge Boys Choir. In April 1962, at the age of 11, John and the choir traveled to Washington, DC, to perform at the White House. He came home all excited about meeting President John F. Kennedy and getting to shake his hand. A year later, in November 1963, John was hospitalized in Dallas after a head injury. This was during the same time President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As the country mourned the president’s death, the Payne family was waiting for news on John. The 12-hour surgery was a success, and he lived for another 60 years.

Life is fragile.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Joyce; and two brothers, Mike and Pat.

He is survived by his siblings, Fred, Margaret, Lucille, Jim, Joe, Frank, and Teresa; his two daughters, Katie Marie Payne Warren and Amber Payne; grandsons, Justin Rakowitz and wife Ashley, Zachary Warren, and Brandon Warren; two precious great-granddaughters, Jaelynn and Paislee; along with many nephews and nieces, all of who have fond loving memories of their ZZ Top lookalike, Uncle John!

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in John’s name can be made to the MD Anderson Cancer Research Center. Donations can either be made online by visiting or by dropping off a check at Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home. Condolences can be shared online at

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John‘s close friend, Randy Coleman, has this to say about John:

I have known him since 1980, and he was constantly teasing all his friends. He had nicknames for us that were derived from our initials. An example is Mark Gary – MG — or “More Garbage!” Mine was worse, and I won’t repeat it. Of course, we had to come up with something for him, and that was “Junk Pile.” All in fun and no ill feeling for these names. I will always remember him saying, “Man, I can’t wait until tomorrow.” I would ask him why, and he would reply, “Cause I get better looking every day!” I use that now, and it always gets a laugh.

He was always pranking us, like putting peanut butter on the bottom side of a door handle, just to name one. He also worked in my cabinet shop and would take a magnifying glass and look at all of my work and say, “Are you going to leave it like that?” I would usually just punch him and tell him to shut up. He will be missed. We would argue and yell at each other sometimes, but then we would apologize and say, “I love you, brother.” I will miss you, John!

Your Friend, Randy






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