S.G. (‘Vet’) Payne, 83, of Kingston, RI, passed away at South County Hospital after a brief illness. He was the husband of the late Carol A. (Aylesworth) Payne, who passed away in 2014. A native Rhode Islander, he was a son of the late Charles A. Payne and Katherine M. (Hanaway) Payne. He lived in Kingston since 2009, previously living in Warwick Neck, East Greenwich, Matunuck Point, Barrington, Peace Dale, Providence, Pelham, N.H., and Ridgecrest, Calif.
He completed a dual career in federal government as a civilian public affairs officer, while serving concurrently in the active Coast Guard Reserve, achieving the senior officer rank of Captain.
As a civilian public affairs officer with the Navy, Payne served at four major shore commands on the East and West coasts. These included tours at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, R.I.; the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, Calif.; the former Davisville Seabee Center and the Quonset Point Naval Station, both in R.I. He was also the deputy public affairs officer of the Federal Aviation Administration’s New England region in Burlington, Mass. He retired in 1996.
During his career, he was awarded 11 Navy special achievement performance awards. He was also awarded 11 military decorations, including the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.
A highlight of his career was a voluntary tour in Vietnam as a public information officer with the U.S. Defense Attache Office in Saigon in 1973. Payne managed a unique public communications program travelling throughout South Vietnam supporting the U.S. Missing-in-Action Program.
Payne was a graduate of LaSalle Academy (1954) and the University of Rhode Island, where he majored in journalism. He also attended Boston University School of Public Communication in a master of science program.
He leaves his daughter, Elizabeth Covino and her husband Ralph, of Andover, Mass.; his son Stephen and his wife Kerri of Barrington; and his son Michael and his wife Deborah of Lincoln. He had five grandchildren, whom he cherished: Sarah, Michael, Kathryn, Emily, Gwen and Erin. He also had two great-grand daughters, Mabel and Emma.
His burial will be private with military honors at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter, R.I. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.