In Memory of Chaplain Dan Payne

Lieutenant Colonel Dan L. Payne (US Army, Retired), passed away January 3, 2024 peacefully at his home in Blairsville, GA on January 3, 2024 at the age of 76, after a valiant battle with cancer. Dan is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 58 years, Josephine (Jo) and two children,  Kelly (Buzz) Payne and his wife Kathy of Thomasville, GA and  Daniel Cody Payne and his wife Nina  of Hogansville, GA, one brother, Robert Payne of Newnan, GA, Grandchildren, Daniel Taylor Payne and his wife Adriana, Morgan Grant and her husband Austin, Lexie Payne, Brayden Payne, Reeves Payne, Chase Payne. Great Grandchildren, Calvin and Elijah Grant, Stetson Payne, Khoa Payne. Two loyal dogs that he loved dearly:  Kona and Dolly.

Preceded in death by their daughter, Josephine Taylor Payne and brother, Mike Payne.

Dan was born July 8, 1947 in Ringgold, GA, graduating from LaGrange (GA) High School in 1965. Dan and Jo were married in North Augusta, South Carolina on November 20, 1965.   He pursued a Bachelor Administration/Economics degree from LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA.  He received his commission at Officer Candidate School, Ft. Benning, GA in 1970. He would later be inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame.  He attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC. and graduated 1982 with a Masters of Divinity Degree.  With perseverance and the Lord he became a Chaplain in the US Army in 1985.

After 26 years in the  Army, Dan retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2005. Upon retirement, Dan and Jo moved to  Blairsville, GA where he began part time work with the National Park Service as a seasonal Park Ranger with assignments in Alaska and Great Smoky Mountains. Service with NPS came to an end when he was diagnosed with cancer and heart problems.

Family memories include winter vacations in Florida, many trips to Alaska and Hawaii. Dan, Jo, Dolly and Kona spent much of their time traveling around the country camping in their RV, hiking, and attending as many Guy Penrod concerts as they could. He and Jo loved attending Dollywood seasonal events, especially at Christmas.  They loved visiting family, and supporting events for their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Dan lived with faith in God, love for his family, and pride for his country. He was an avid outdoors-man and a lover of nature.

Visitation services were held at Mountain View Funeral Home, Blairsville, GA on Saturday, January 6, 2024 from 6:00-8:00pm. Funeral services for Lt. Col. Dan Payne will be held at First Baptist Church in Blairsville, GA on Sunday, January 7, 2024 at 2:00pm.

Burial services were at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA on Monday, January 8, 2024 at 1:00pm.

Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairsville was in charge of the arrangements. You may sign the family guest book and send condolences online at

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