Rick Payson passed away on Sept. 28, 2007 and left these earthly confines to be with his father, mother, sister, and his son Chad. He passed peacefully with his immediate family and best friend Jim Hedrick by his side. Rick was born on June 19, 1945 in Warren, Maine. There he was raised on a dairy farm. He was a member of a Boy Scout Troop and reached the rank of “life.” Ric
k excelled in many sports in school earning many awards and letters.
Rick graduated from Burdett College of Business and Accounting in Boston. He then joined the Air Force in 1966. Rick spent three years stationed at Bergstrom and one year in Vietnam. He loved Austin so much that he decided to stay. In 1970 he went to work for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission as a program specialist in statistical analysis. After 32 years of dedicated service and numerous awards he retired only because of his health.
Rick leaves behind his loving wife Janie; two step-sons, Keith and Chad Johnson; one step-daughter; and six grandchildren. He also leaves behind four brothers and four sisters, whom he loved dearly: William Payson and wife Laverne of Plant City, Fla.; Faye Daucette and husband Forest of Warren, Maine; Carolyn Perkins of Rockland, Maine; Robert Payson and wife Christine of Pownal, Maine; Marilyn Boyton of Bradenton, Fla.; Gerald and wife Ludell of Yuma, Ariz.; Andre” Payson and wife Robin of Bellevue, Nebraska; and Patty and Brian Weaver of Warren, Maine. His extended family was Bobbie and husband George Parsons and Jimmy Oliver that he thought of as his other sister and brother. Having come from a large family and living on a dairy farm he learned at an early age the value of hard work and love of family first.
One of his goals in life was to be a 25-gallon blood donor. He never made it, but was proud that he had donated 16 gallons having to quit donating when he became ill.
Rick was very active within the bowling community of Austin. He spent 12 years as a coach for our youth bowlers. He was named one of three Texas Young American Alliance Coach of the Year by the Youth Leaders of Texas in the first year of awards. He was also inducted into the Greater Austin Sports Foundation Hall of Honor for the work he did with the youth of Austin. One of his highest honors was being inducted into the Austin Area Bowling Hall of Fame. This had special meaning to be honored by his fellow bowlers and friends. He served as a director on the Austin Bowling Association for five years and on the newly-formed Greater Austin Area USBC Association as a director for two years. Rick was an avid bowler for over 40 years. His attitude was Keep It Clean both in bowling and life so it became the team name for many years.
Rick had the pleasure of serving as the President of the Travis Country Homeowner”s Association for five years. This brought him great satisfaction to see a new community grow and know that he had a helping hand in it.
Upon the tragic death of his 16-year-old son, he established the Chad Payson Memorial/Scholarship Fund. He was determined that people would remember his son and some good would have come of his death. Initial use of the fund was to provide financial aid and support to the Austin area youth who would not be able to bowl without it and scholarships from tournaments to aid in their education. It is now strictly for youth bowlers scholarships. This fund has provided several hundred scholarships to our youth. The fund is now sponsoring the annual Southwest Regional PBA Junior Pro-Am Scholarship Tournament to give youth bowlers a chance to earn a scholarship and bowl with professional bowlers. It gave him great pleasure to get a request from someone that they were off to college and he was a part of helping that. His other pleasure was to see some of our youth bowlers grow up and go on to become professional bowlers.
Many thanks are given to our many friends for their support and kind thoughts during this time. Special thanks go to Dr. Myers and his nurse Kathleen at the South Austin Cancer Center and to the nurses at the South Austin Hospital on 2 Central who were so kind to us in the last few weeks of his life.
Rick was a kind and loving man who will be missed by all. Even in his death he still thought of others. In lieu of flowers Rick would prefer donations be made to the “Chad Payson Memorial/Scholarship Fund,” 1701 Century Oaks, Lockhart, Texas 78644.
The family will receive visitors on Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 from 6 – 8 p.m.. at Wilke-Clay-Fish Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007 at Live Oak Cemetery, Manchaca, Texas.
Arrangements by Wilke-Clay-Fish Funeral Home, 2620 S. Congress, Austin, TX 512/442-1446. You may view memorials at www.wcfish.com.