Mr. Grover G. Payne passed away December 19, 2013 in Wenatchee, WA.
The first son of a first son of a first son of the first son of early settler, Nathanial Payne, who settled in the tumbling Creek area around 1830, Grover George Payne was born April 18, 1939 in Blue Ridge, GA. Following an early interest in botany, Grover attended and graduated for the University of Georgia, with a degree in Forestry. Grover was immediately hired by the U.S. Forest Service and was assigned to a timber management position in California, when the U.S. Army intervened with a 2-year assignment in Alaska. He forever treasured the skills learned there in mountain rescue and the opportunity given to enjoy and explore that fabulous area. The next three decades were given to Forest Service assignments in timber management, public information and education, District Ranger, and administrator of co-ordination of the USFS with 13 Southern State Foresters. On the Wenatchee National Forest, as staff officer in charge of Fire Protection and State and Private forest programs, he personally championed implementation of the Incident Command System (ICS) and was instrumental in developing key interagency agreements with state and county agencies. His emphasis on co-operation also led to the creation of the Central Cascades Forest Service/Department of Natural Resources (DNR0 Incident Management Team, the only one of its kind in the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS and the creation of the Central Washington Interagency Communication Center (CWICC). After retirement, Grover completed advisory assignments with the Washington State DNR and field work with the Wildland Firefighter magazine.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy and his daughters, Laurie Anne Dlugolicki and Nancy Emerson Glazebrook.
Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, January 11, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. from the Akins Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Al Patterson and Rev. Victor Morgan officiating. Internment will follow in the Patterson Cemetery with the following gentlemen serving as pallbearers: Robert "Hoot" Skelton, Frank Shinpaugh, Don Wertz, Robert Sosbee, Wesley Payne, Ebbie O'Neal, Billy O'Neal and Matthew Dlugolecki. Full military honors will be provided by the North Georgia Honor Guard.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday January 11, 2013 prior to the service from 12:00 noon until the funeral hour.
Grover has requested that, in lieu of flowers, we perform random acts of kindness for our fellow citizens. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.akinsfuneralhome.com. Akins Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA is in charge of the arrangements.