Farming Rural 18

Jerry Allen Payne

December 19, 1937 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Jerry Allen Payne Obituary

Jerry was born on December 19, 1937, in Winchester, Virginia to Mason and Rebecca Dixon Payne.   He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, and friend, known for his unwavering commitment to his family and community. 

Throughout his life, Jerry touched many lives with his warmth, generosity, and genuine compassion. He never met a stranger; he was a source of strength and support to all who knew him.  His determination and zest for life were an inspiration to all who were fortunate to know him.

After completing his education at the University of Tennessee and Clemson, Jerry's professional life was marked by dedication and excellence.  For over 20 years, he served with distinction at the USDA Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Georgia.  His contributions to agricultural science were invaluable, leaving a lasting impact on the industry he loved.

Jerry's dedication to his field of study extended beyond his professional career. He was a pioneer in forensic entomology, revolutionizing the field with his groundbreaking research.  His time-lapse film and thesis are housed at the Smithsonian Institution.  His work was recognized and featured in Time magazine, solidifying his reputation as a leader in the scientific community.  Jerry has a beetle, two millipedes, a protozoan, an isopod and a spider named in his honor.

Beyond his career, Jerry was deeply involved in his community. He volunteered his time as a youth baseball and track coach in Houston County, GA shaping the lives of countless young athletes. He was also a devoted Cub Scout pack leader, guiding and inspiring generations of young scouts.

 In his free time, Jerry enjoyed staying active, often participating in 5K and 10K street races well into his 80s.  Countless hours were spent improving his and Rose’s property in Bibb County for the benefit of wildlife.  He quickly named their property Tick Hill, for obvious reasons.  His passion for nature led to many volunteer hours with the GA DNR and Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge.  He took great pleasure in organizing and participating in butterfly surveys, and bird counts.   Following his retirement, he rediscovered his childhood joy in found art.  This led him to install over 100 bottle trees at Tick Hill as well as turning bits of aged wood and turtle shells into various fantastical creatures complete with a scientific name and back story.  His creations have found their way into the homes and offices of friends.  Many considered him a true artist, a title he was reluctant to accept.  His hand-crafted Christmas ornaments were displayed over the years at the ​Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences.

 Jerry will be deeply missed by his loving wife Rose, his children Kenneth (Colleen) and Daniel, as well as his sisters, Arlene Eastman, Debbie Payne, Donna (Steve) Marquisee and brother-in-law Hal Carter.  He is also survived by granddaughter, Haley Fremer, great-grandchildren Faith, Joy and John Fremer, a wide circle of other relatives, including his first wife Ruth Payne and many friends.  He was preceded in death by his cherished daughter Susan Payne as well as his brother Ronald Payne and sister Nancy Shepherd.    

We would like to give special thanks to his devoted caregiver Deborah Landers of Visiting Angels who brought love and great comfort to not only Jerry, but his family in his final months.

His memory will continue to be cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

A memorial service to celebrate Jerry's life will be held on March 21st at 1:00pm  at Honey Creek Woodlands,  Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Highway 212  SW   Conyers, GA 30094

Honey Creek Woodlands is a Nature Preserve and all who knew Jerry, knew preference for “casual” attire.  Please wear what makes you comfortable outside and is suitable for the weather.

Jerry had a soft spot in his heart for cats, especially those who were difficult and unwanted.  His expressed desire was that in leu of flowers, donations may be made to Kitty City Rescue:

Please visit to express condolences.

May Jerry's soul find rest, and may his legacy of love, kindness, and scientific innovation continue to shine brightly in the lives of those he touched.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jerry Allen Payne, please visit our floral store.

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Memorial Service
March 21, 2024

1:00 PM
Honey Creek Woodlands,  Monastery of the Holy Spirit 
2625 Highway 212  SW
Conyers, GA 30094


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