On October 3, Richard Wallace Payton died peacefully at home. He was 83. Richard was born on February 28, 1938, in Burbank, California to Alenath Binford Payton and George S. Payton. The youngest of four children, he attended schools in California and Eureka.
He worked for the railroad before joining the U.S. Navy in 1956 and, soon after, married his high school sweetheart, Marilou Glass. They moved to San Francisco, CA and then Long Beach, CA where Richard served on the USS Columbus and USS Everett F. Larson, earning his Electrician’s Mate rating. During this time his two children were born, Cynthia Louise “Cindy” in 1957 and Richard “Mark” in 1960.
After the Navy, Richard worked for Servomation and then in 1968, the family moved back to Rexford, MT where he started Payton’s Repair which he continued until his retirement. He was lovingly known as “Mr. Fixit” to his family and friends. He also served as the water/sewer superintendent for Rexford and later served as the mayor. He was a longtime member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church helping wherever he was needed. He served as a Eureka Ambulance volunteer and was active in forming the Lion’s Den Sports Club. He was also a member of the VFW and enjoyed attending his Naval Ship reunions. Richard always enjoyed being able to get together with friends and family and especially loved being with his grandchildren. Camping, hunting, and fishing were some of his favorite pastimes, and he was excited to get a deer while hunting with his son just last season.
Although Richard’s declining health was a challenge the past few years, he continued to stay positive and enjoyed the people he met along the way. His family will be ever thankful to Bruce and Mary Rich (longtime neighbors and friends), the workers at DCI in Kalispell, Lincoln County transportation, his health-care providers, Kembrough Chesson and, especially, Adam Burns who became Richard’s dedicated helper and friend.
Richard is survived by his son, Mark (Diane) Payton and dear friend, Marilou Payton; grandchildren Matthew (Shanda) Speed, Michael (Ashley) Speed, Lucas Speed, Garrick (Ashley) Speed, Meredith (Jon Fagerland) Payton, Mackenzie Payton, and Marissa (A.J.) Payton Gravel; great grandchildren Noelle and Lilah Speed, Charlie Speed, Landon, Noah and Mariella Speed, Cameron Payton and Bente Fagerland.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Cindy Speed; brothers, Kenneth and Donald, and sister, Carolyn Pfrimmer.
Richard’s kindness will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Memorial donations may be made to Eureka Ambulance or any other local charity. Services will be scheduled at a later date. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Eureka. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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