Gary Robert Payne was the third of four sons born to the union of Marshall Stanley and Flavia Mae Payne (nee' Sloan) on January 2, 1952. Gary spent his early years in the Glen Hazel neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. The family eventually moved to Inglenook Place, a close-knit street in Homewood, where Gary made many of his lifelong friiends. Gary was quiet and somewhat reserved but he was very personable and always made friends easily.
In 1969, Gary graduated from Peabody High School and left Pittsburgh shortly after to attend Central State University, where he would meet Loretta Payne (nee' Saulsberry) whom he was united with in marriage on September 4, 1974. From that union came their only child, China. Gary and Loretta divorced in 1996 but remained in contact over the years. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh in December of 1974, Gary experimented with many different career paths. He attended Duquesne University's School of Law, was a buyer with Volkswagen and even worked as an insurance salesman. In 1989, Gary was hired as a bus operator at Port Authority Transit of Allegheny County ("PAT") and joined the ATU Local 385. Always an entrepreneur at heart, after retiring from PAT, Gary created Mario's Landscaping and Property Maintenance, Inc. where he enjoyed investing in and managing real property and landscaping. His crew often consisted of his nephew, Mario, fiancee's daughter, Teanna and many others whom he treated like family.
Gary entered into recovery on February 16, 1992 and remained an active member of the Turning Point group of Narcotics Anonymous for over 26 years. He sponsored many men during his involvement with the fellowship and was always willing to help others find a new way of life as he had. To that end, Gary, and his fiancee, Toni Corinealdi, co-founded Recupera, Inc., a not-for-profit entity dedicated to introducing recreational activities to individuals and families recovering from the effects of substance abuse.
Gary was instrumental in the development and growth of many who crossed his path. He was a hard worker and a man of service whom led by example. He always had words od wisdom to share and didn't hesitate to engage in a good debate. Gary was an extremely caring and genuine person who assisted many people in so many ways. He was an avid casino gamer and golfer but had been known to obtain a perfect score in bowling and he enjoyed tennis as well. Gary loved to travel and was always excited to visit his Punta Gorda, Florida family and friends.
Not only was Gary a great man, but he was a wonderful father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend; he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace Gary, your work here is done. Gary was precede in death by his mother, Flavia, father, Marshall, and two brothers, Marshall Stanley Payne, III and Raymond Carl Payne.
Left to cherish his memory is daughter, China (Anthony) Lee; grandchildren, Jade and Christian; fiancee, Toni Corineadli, her children, Tiffany and Teanna and granddaughter Teaire; brother, Anthony (Denise) Payne; sister-in-law, Connie Payne; eight nieces and nephews, Eric, Ami, Keith, Sean (Tina), Wraymond Saulsberry, Mario, Rob and Zoe; two close great-nieces, Alexis and Mya; special cousins, Mark R. Sloan, III and Czerna May Benton and a host of other friends and relatives.