ALBANY -- Mr. William Guerard Payne, Sr., 90, of Albany, GA died Thursday March 1, 2012 at the Willson Hospice.

A memorial service will be held Saturday Mar 24, 2012 11AM at Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors in Albany, GA. The family will receive friends Friday Mar 23, 2012 from 5:00 to 7:00PM at Kimbrell-Stern.

A true Southern Gentleman and a native of Atlanta, GA, Mr. Payne was born August 24, 1921, the youngest of three sons to Edwin Hunter Payne, Sr., CPA and Madeleine Guerard Payne, all deceased. His Grandmother, Mrs. Annie Harwell, was one of the early founders of the Travelers Aid Society in the old Atlanta Terminal Station. Mr. Payne attended Georgia State University in Atlanta.

A member of "The Greatest Generation" he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1940 and served in Panama, reaching the rank of Tech Sergeant and becoming an instructor in Aircraft Engine Mechanics. He was sent to England in 1943, sailing out of New York on the Queen Mary, heavily loaded with 19,000 soldiers. He was sent to an Engine Overhaul depot where it became his duty to test repaired engines for reinstalling in combat damaged planes. During the war he volunteered for transfer receiving a commission in Fontainebleau, France. He served as an Infantry Officer until the end of hostilities after 5 years and two months, returning to the USA on the troop ship Rock Hill Victory.

Upon return to the United States in 1945 he went to work for The Hartford Insurance Group in Atlanta where he met and married Laurie Jean Harrell in 1946. They shared a long and happy 65 year marriage. Mr. Payne worked for The Hartford for 37 years and retired as General Manager for the state of Indiana. He was Past President of the Indiana Insurance Managers Association as well as serving in various capacities on the Insurance Commissioner's Advisory Council: Workers Compensation Bureau; Legislative Conference for American Insurance Association; and the Insurance Services Office of Indiana. Mr. Payne was a charter member of Porterfield United Methodist Church and a member of Doublegate Country Club where he was an avid golfer.

Survivors include his wife, Laurie Jean Harrell Payne; a daughter, Beverly Jean Payne Brown and her husband John L. Brown, Clearwater, FL; a son William Guerard Payne, Jr. and his wife Michelle Payne, Indianapolis, IN; grandchildren, Allison Keeley and Levi Christian Payne, and Brianna, Tierney and Kendra Stewart; two sisters, Anne Harper of Carnesville, GA; Marie Davis of Smyrna, GA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Those desiring please make memorials to the Willson Hospice House, 320 Foundation Lane, Albany, GA 31707 or to a favorite charity of their choice.

You may sign our online guestbook and share your own special thoughts with the family of Mr. Payne by visiting Kimbrell-Stern's website at

Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors

Albany 229/883-4152