Robert "Tom" Thomas Payne

November 13, 1945 ~ September 8, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Robert "Tom" Payne Obituary

Robert Thomas “Tom” Payne

     KEYSER, WV – Robert Thomas “Tom” Payne, 77, of Keyser, passed away on Friday, September 8, 2023 at Moran Manor in Westernport. 

     Born on November 13, 1945 in Keyser, he was the son of the late Floyd E. and Margaret E. (Shockey) Payne.  

     From a young age Tom was destined to achieve great things. In 1962, he was a member of the Keyser High School WV (AA) football champions and runner-up for the Ed Kelley Award.  He graduated from Keyser High School, Class of 1963 and went on to Potomac State College before being drafted into the Army from 1965-1967. 

     After being drafted he was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was in the graduating class of 1971. Tom became a Commissioned Officer until 1976 holding numerous titles: such as Infantry Line Officer, Airborne, Jumpmaster, Ranger and Special Forces and Judge Advocate General Officer. During that time he received the Army Commendation Medal in recognition of the services of the Team Executive, Training Officer and an Army Government Contract Attorney Team. He continued his service in the United States Army Reserve from 1976-1993 as a Commissioned Officer and later as a Government Contract Attorney, Team Executive and Training Officer. 

     In his quest for excellence, he went on to further his education at the University Of Dayton School Of Business, earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Dayton School Of Law in 1981. All while working as a Manufacturing Manager for General Motors Corporation. 

     Throughout his career he worked with numerous law firms, including Cummings & Lockwood, Dugan & Dugan, and Schmeiser, Olsen & Watts, LLP. For more than the last decade Tom was a partner with The Chisholm Group, a Government Relations Firm based in Washington, DC. In addition he worked as a Patent Counsel and Intellectual Property Attorney, with various prestigious companies such as Deere & Company, General Electric Company and Cuno, Inc. Tom Payne was a Candidate for Congress, 2st District of West Virginia, 2016 and 1st District of West Virginia, 2018 and 2020. 

     In addition to his extensive education and business adventures Tom was a proud member of the Democratic Party both at West Virginia State and National levels. He was active in the Army and Navy Club of Washington, DC as well as the West Point Alumni Association of Washington, DC, Connecticut, Ohio, and West Virginia. He was a faithful member of the Calvary United Methodist Church in Keyser. And an active member of the America Bar Association and several ABA affiliated organizations including AIPLA.  

     Tom was also involved in numerous charitable organizations throughout his life including the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and several Non-profit organizations that focus on active duty members and their families as they transition to civilian life. 

     He was a kindhearted friend to many and a loving and devoted brother to his sister, "Cookie". He was an avid and talented golfer and enjoyed the Annual West Point Alumni Golf Tournaments. He will dearly be missed by his family and friends. 

     Left to cherish in Tom’s memory are his sister, Christine Gail Smith of Keyser and his niece, Laurel C. Harding of Kearneysville, WV; two great-nephews, Dominic and Jonathan; three great-nieces, Trinity, Corynne and Paris and his best friend and business partner, Stephen J. Chisholm of Washington, DC. He is also survived by his church family and friends. 

     If desired, memorial contributions may be made in honor of Tom to the Calvary United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 297, Keyser, WV 26726 and the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839 Boone, IA 50037.

     A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at the Calvary United Methodist Church, Keyser at 1:00pm with Reverend Beth Jacobson officiating. A private interment will be held in the West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY. 


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Celebration of Life
September 30, 2023

1:00 PM
Calvary United Methodist Church
233 South Mineral Street
Keyser, WV 26726


Calvary United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 297, Keyser, WV 26726,
Tel: 304-788-1595

American Red Cross
P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines IA 50340
Tel: 1-800-733-2767


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