This is a picture of my brother Roy. Here he is a Marine. Gunnery Sergeant Roy L. Payne, Jr. My brother was in the Marines from the age of 19 years to 30  years. He had initially planned to make a career of it. He was a Judo expert while in the Marines. My dad was a Marine, and so it followed suit that my brother went into the military as a Marine. He married a woman and had two children. But before that he held a distinguished position in 1969 before enlisting in the Marines and before management positions were really available to minorities. He was a manager at what used to be called Ma Bell – Bell Telephone Company, at the ripe old age of 20 years old. He had gotten his electronics certificate after graduating from High School, from RETS Electronics School. He was expert at that, as well.

When he enlisted in the Marines, he was stationed in Japan for about 3  years. He settled in 29 Palm, CA when he married in 1972. He and my sister-in-law had two children, Ruth, and Roy III. My brother grew and learned a lot before he turned 30 years old. A Christian man, he raised his family with delight. Ruth was 6 and Roy III was about 2 years old. 

November 16, 1980 at about 1:45 a.m. early morning, my two brothers-in-law rang my doorbell and told me that my Mom would need  me. I knew something had happened, but for the life of me I couldn’t have believed that when I got to my Mom and Dad’s house that I would hear that Roy had been killed in a car accident in California, that day. That was devastating enough, but he was killed by a drunk driver, and the drunk driver was a Marine also. WOW! My parents flew to California for the services. The rest of us had a memorial for him, where we lived. You know for so long I was angry with that drunk driver and wanted to hurt him, but he was killed, too. There was nothing but anger and pain as I thought of my sister-in-law and young niece and nephew who would only know their dad through pictures and word of mouth memories. He was married only 8 years and died at 30 years old. He would have been 67 this coming December. Ruth is 42 and Roy III is 37. My brother is missed, but never forgotten. 



  1. I’m sorry your family had to go through this. It is so painful to lose a sibling. My oldest brother died tragically, too. It also seems to me that death when you don’t expect it is a shock to the system and takes some extra effort to work through. Have you written elsewhere about your brother’s death?

    Some of my brother’s story appears in the recently published Chicken Soup for the Soul book, Angels and Miracles. In that story I didn’t focus on his death, but on the fact that he still lives.

    Did I read somewhere that your daughter is ill? If that was true, I hope she is doing better and that you are as well. Blessings!


    • Hello Suzan, you have just made my day with this precious post. No, it never occurred to me to write about my brother’s death before. I always post on Facebook about him on his birthday, however. I am a believer in the scriptures, and it was when he died that a scripture in I Corinthians 15 came to life in me. “Oh death where is thy sting, oh grave where is thy victory. (I Corinthians 15:55 KJV). My brother knew Jesus as Lord and Savior. I do, too. I have no doubt that we will meet again when the trumpet shall sound.

      Yes, one of my daughters is battling Ovarian Cancer. She, too, knows the Lord Jesus as Savior. She has a rough road before her, but she is holding onto the Lord’s hands. All of us are. She and my husband have gotten so much more closer. Whenever she is down, she goes to him and he holds her while she cries and gets things together. I am so glad that we all have one another to get through this. Many thanks for your kind words and for your inquiry.

      Liked by 1 person

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