Obituary of Wesley Ray Payne, Jr.
Ray was born to Wesley Ray Payne, Sr. and Harriet (Stockard) Payne on June 6, 1925 in Oklahoma City, OK and passed from this life on March 23, 2020 at the age of 94. Ray resided in Oklahoma City throughout his youth and lettered in football during High School. Ray attended the University of Oklahoma after High School. He was a longtime member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Ray decided that he wanted to become a Merchant Marine during World War II and attended and graduated from Kingspoint Merchant Academy in Long Island, NY. He then served as a lieutenant aboard navy ships during World War II. After the war he met and married the love of his life, Ermite (Krepps) Payne. They were married for 64 years. With the onset of the Korean War Ray joined the Underwater Demolition Team (forerunner of U.S. Navy Seals). He served his country with dedication and bravery. He was a true hero, serving in combat during both World War II and Korea. In civilian life he began working at Carpenter Paper Company in Dallas, TX. He then joined Beene Paper Company in Tulsa, OK where he retired after 40 years as Vice President of Beene/Butler Paper Company. Ray enjoyed a 30 year retirement. He loved playing bridge, fishing, golfing, family vacations and working in his yard. He was a loving and likeable husband, father, grandfather, and a true gentleman and friend to all who knew him. Ray was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife, Ermita; his sisters, Maxine and Dorothy Jean; and numerous friends and extended family members. He is survived by his two children and their spouses, Catherine Atkins & Ray Sledge and Wesley Ray Payne, III & Connie Payne; his grandsons, Matthew Moorman of Dallas, TX and Chris Atkins (Chau) of Denver, CO; his great granddaughter, Alyssa Atkins; his nephew, George Krepps; and great nephews, George Krepps and Edward Krepps. He was graciously befriended by Molly Ann Sanger in his later years. Ray will be deeply missed. Canoe Brook Assisted Living provided exceptional and loving care to Ray. The family extends special gratitude to Good Shepherd Hospice and to ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) who gave him his loving companion, Bella. A private family service will be held in the future. Ninde Brookside, 918-742-5556