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Ralph Calvin Payne

February 7, 1921 - May 9, 2019

U.S. Veteran

Service Date May 14, 2019

Church Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, May 13, 2019 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 14th at the funeral home with Pastor LeRoy Flagstad officiating.  Interment will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery with military honors presented.


Ralph C Payne passed away on Thursday May 9, 2019 at the age of 98  He was born in Corsica, SD on February 7, 1921 to William B. and Nettie Grace (Kenyon) Payne.  He was the youngest of six and shortest of the boys so he earned the nickname of Pee Wee which is still heard occasionally at family gatherings.

He grew up in the Corsica area and helped on the farm.  During WWII he was drafted into the army.  While on his way to Japan the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Whenever he talked about traveling to Japan he sometimes pointed out the fact that back then the troops were not transported by plane but instead by ship. He spent 79 days in route and it wasn’t the most luxurious cruise.  At one point they hit some rough seas which sent waves over the ship.

In December of 1946 he was discharged from the Army and arrived home on December 23.  On December 24 he eloped with Shirley M Zundel.

To this 72 year marriage six children were born.

His working career included driving truck for Disco in Mitchell before transferring to Trisco or TriState in Rapid City which later became Hubbard Mill. He worked both in the feed mill and flour mill before retiring in the the mid 1970″s.  After retirement they enjoyed traveling and took several trips to various locations throughout the United States, Canada and one trip across the border into Mexico.

He is survived by his wife Shirley and daughters: Dianna (Kenneth) Trusty, Kathie (George) Cleppe, and Connie (Larry) Kapfenstein and one son Monnie (Cheryl) Payne.  He has 19 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren and 10 great great grandchildren.  He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a son Bruce, an infant daughter Vicky Jo two great grandchildren, two brothers; Orville and Bill Payne, three sisters;  Vada Pebbles, Ellen Skrondahl and Elsie Edinger.

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