Cover photo for James F. Payne, Ii's Obituary
James F. Payne, Ii Profile Photo
1941 James 2023

James F. Payne, Ii

March 27, 1941 — March 2, 2023

The family of Dr. James (Jim) F. Payne are saddened to announce his death on March 2nd, 2023, at the age of 81.


In 1968, Dr. Payne joined the faculty of The University of Memphis after

receiving degrees from The University of Tennessee Martin, Memphis State University, and Mississippi State University.


During Jim's tenure of 37 years at The University of Memphis, an institution he loved and respected, he served in various capacities including Professor of Biology, Department Chair, and Associate and Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


His teaching contributions included Introductory Honors Biology and senior-graduate courses in limnology and biology of invertebrates.


Upon recommendation of students and faculty, Dr. Payne was twice awarded the University Distinguished Teaching Award. He also received The Meritorious Faculty Award from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1991.

As department chair, he was influential in establishing the first Chair of Excellence in the state of Tennessee.


His research interests were in ecology of freshwater invertebrates. He mentored many graduate students, published numerous papers, and gave presentations to scientific societies on research findings. He also served on boards of scientific societies and was awarded lifetime honorary membership in one.


An avid reader, gardener, and collector of baseball memorabilia, he followed closely the fortunes of the University of Memphis Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals.


Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Marcella Ryan Payne, a son Dr. Christopher R. Payne (Shana), a daughter Polly P. Walker (Don), and three beloved "grands" Madeline (Maddie) R. Payne, C. Bennett (Ben) Payne, and J. Parker Payne.


The family will gather for a private interment and celebration of life.


Memories and condolences may be shared with the Payne family via www.morrisbaker.com. Morris-Baker Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 2001 E. Oakland Ave., Johnson City, is serving the Payne family. (423) 282-1521



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