Thomas Neal Payne
Thomas Neal Payne, 70, formerly of Vernon, Texas,
passed away on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Lubbock, Texas.
Services were held Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at 2 p.m.
at Wilbarger Street Church of Christ under the direction of
Sullivan Funeral Home. Officiating was Tom’s long-time
friend Dale Stone. Following the service was a celebration
and storytelling in the Fellowship Room. Graveside
services followed at 4 p.m. at Eastview Cemetery in
Tom was born on Aug. 3, 1952, in Seminole, Texas. He
was the son of the late Eugene and Louise Smith Payne. He
graduated from Vernon High School in 1970 and attended
Lubbock Christian College, Midwestern State University,
and Texas Tech University. He married Judy Newth on
March 25, 1972, in Vernon, Texas. He was a cowboy and a salesman. He sold feed,
he sold insurance, and he sold cars. Tom never met a stranger. He was a Wilbarger
County 4-H Leader and especially enjoyed coaching horse judging teams and
helping with playdays and horse shows. He was recognized as a 4-H Distinguished
Leader in District 3. He was a member of the Wilbarger Street Church of Christ in
Vernon, and most recently, he was a member of the Idalou Church of Christ.
Tom is survived by his wife, Judy Payne of Idalou, Texas; his children, Calley
Runnels and husband, Jory, of Kress, Texas, Cory Edwards and husband, Billy,
of Idalou, Texas, and T.J. Payne of Vernon, Texas; eight grandchildren, Brandon
Edwards, Cutter Runnels, Bax Edwards, Brynlee Edwards, Tripp Runnels, Brix
Edwards, Tynslie Payne, and Thatcher Payne; his sister, Lisa Hancock of Amarillo,
Texas; his brother-in-law, David Newth of Lubbock; his nephew, Colby Dill of
Canton, Michigan, his niece, Ashley Newth of Charlotte, North Carolina, and
several Payne and Smith cousins.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Nedra Payne Dill, his inlaws, Jack Newth, Marilyn Newth Wilson and R.D. Wilson, and his brother-in-law,
His grandsons will serve as pallbearers, Brandon Edwards, Cutter Runnels, Bax
Edwards, Tripp Runnels, Brix Edwards, and Thatcher Payne, and nephew, Colby
Memorials can be made to Idalou Church of Christ, Wilbarger St. Church of
Christ, or Children’s Home of Lubbock.
Condolences may be made to the family online at