Home > Obituaries > Rufus Howard Payne

Rufus Howard Payne, aged 73, passed away due to double pneumonia on November 7, 2023, at Northport DCH ICU. Born on December 1, 1949, to James Edward and Opal Stephens Payne, Rufus spent his early years in the Stewart Community before relocating to Tuscaloosa.

Despite becoming an amputee at age 2 following complications from a corrective surgery for a club foot, Rufus’s resilience never wavered. He built a career as a food vendor, delivering to retailers including Wal-Mart and Publix, where he fostered numerous enduring friendships. Known for his conversational nature, Rufus took a genuine interest in the lives of those he spoke with.

Retiring to The Landings of Northport, Rufus enjoyed the company of his cat Samson and the community’s camaraderie. Even as health challenges arose, his determination and affection for his family remained his focus, particularly the lives of his granddaughters.

Rufus is mourned by his daughter, Lisa Payne Johnson, son-in-law Wayne Johnson, and granddaughters: Madisyn Brooke, Mindilee Rose, and Maci Grace. He was predeceased by his wife, Rosalyn Malcom Payne, daughter Mindy, brother Jimmy, and sister-in-law Brenda Payne.


The family extends their gratitude to The Landings staff, Rufus’s friends, and the Northport DCH ICU medical team for their exceptional care and support.

A graveside service was conducted on Saturday, November 11, at 2:00 pm at Concord Cemetery in Moundville. Magnolia Chapel South directed the service.

Leave a Reply