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Oil Rigs

Robert Earl Payne

April 23, 1928 ~ July 26, 2020 (age 92)


Robert (Bob) Earl Payne, 92, of Bastrop Texas, passed away July 26, 2020, of natural causes, surrounded by loved ones.

He was born April 23, 1928 in Mexia, Texas to Sarah Oma and Robert Earl Payne. He grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas and then spent the majority of his adult life in Baytown, Texas, until he relocated to Bastrop, Texas after his wife passed; to be closer to his children.

He attended Texas Tech University and graduated 2nd in his class with a Chemical Engineer degree, while lettering in tennis and basketball.  He would always be an avid Red Raiders fan. He received an offer to go to work for Humble Oil (Exxon) and off he went to work in the Baytown, Texas refinery.

While playing on the Exxon softball team, Wanda Irene Cox, saw him playing center field and asked a friend to introduce them. They soon went on a first date and ended up marrying in February, 1951. Their marriage would last 60 years.  

He enjoyed a successful career with Exxon, from chemical engineer to process superintendent, to technical manager to manager of a test plant (Exxon Coal Liquefaction Plant (ECLP)) that made fuel from coal. He loved mathematical calculations and working with people. He enjoyed his career immensely.

He was always an Astros fan, even before they were the Astros. He first listened to them in his car or on his transistor radio when they were a minor league team, then when they were the Colt 45’s and then the Astros. He was a fan through the good seasons and the not-so-good seasons. He just loved the game of baseball and the Astros were his Team!

He was a man with strong values and for him, love was an action and not just a word. He was a caregiver to many, during his life. He had a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility. He loved his family, friends, neighbors, people that he worked with, anyone that came into his life and his actions showed it.  When people describe him, they say he was a sweet, kind man.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Wanda Payne, and sister, Helen Oma Payne.  He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Gene Evans of Smithville, TX; daughter and son-in-law, Linda Liles and Bob Larimore of Lakeway, TX; grandchildren Mark Evans, Julie Farnham, Julian Liles, Melissa and Hunter Fendley, and Kelly Larimore; and his great grandson Landon Farnham; as well as additional extended family that he loved.

There will be a small family service at Oliver Cemetery in Smithville, TX, Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

The family would like to offer their most sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Argent Court Assisted Living in Bastrop, TX and to Park Manor, in Bee Cave, TX for their exceptional, loving care.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Earl Payne, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
July 31, 2020

10:00 AM
Oliver Cemetery
Powell Cemetery Road
Smithville, TX 78957

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