Payne, Michael

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Michael  Payne

Michael Alexander (Alex) Payne, 22, of Woodstock, GA died May 11, 2020 He was born July 21, 1997 in Long Beach, CA, the son of Michael D. Payne and Donna (Spare) Payne He graduated from Etowah High School in 2015, where he was a member of the 2012-2013 State Champion Academic Team and the National Technical Honor Society. He also was a recipient of the Superintendent's Key Scholar Award and the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. He was currently enrolled as a rising senior at The University of Georgia Terry College of Business majoring in Real Estate. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, where he left many friends and brothers. Alex grew up playing club soccer for the Cherokee Impact and later the NASA soccer clubs. It was at Cherokee Soccer where Alex met and grew to love his coach and future Godparents and brothers, Tim and Lisa Frantz, and brothers Josh, Keegan, and Joel. Alex was baptized in Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Woodstock, being presented by his parents and godparents. Alex worked at two bars in Athens as a doorman and security, That Bar and Bad Moon Bar. He loved his job and his coworkers. Alex was not suited to working bar security by his size, as much as his sense of humor, wit, and calming demeanor. He was good at defusing a tense situation with his smile and outgoing attitude. There were no strangers, only friends he hadn't met. Alex is survived by his father Michael Payne of Woodstock, who loved, adored, and grieves his loss every day. He also leaves his aunts and uncles Theresa and Dave Proia and Beverly and Stephen Carr. of Dover, New Hampshire, Marcia and Charles Payne of Woodstock, Carol and Mark Foutch of Acworth, and Dana and James Thompson of New Port Richey, FL. He also leaves many cousins, who he loved dearly. Alex was preceded in death by his mother Donna in 2017, his grandmother Brenda Spare in 2016, and his Great-aunt Judy Bishop in 2017. Alex had a tremendous number of friends in Woodstock and Athens. The outpouring of love and support upon news of his passing has been overwhelming, and I am forever grateful and in awe of the number of lives he touched. His friends and brothers Jaggar Laird, A. J. James, and Tunji Aiyeola organized a candlelight vigil in Wyngate near our home and it was attended by 25 or 30 of Alex's friends. Story after story was shared about how Alex reached out to strangers and new acquaintances to make them feel included and welcome. Alex befriended and talked with many of the homeless in Athens, and if he had a dollar in his pocket he would give it. Wonderful tributes to Alex were made in Athens by the staff and customers of That Bar and Bad Moon Bar. On July 18, the front porch of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in Athens will be adorned with a plaque and dedicated as the Alex Payne Memorial Porch. Due to government restrictions, no funeral service has been held for Alex. The status of any possible future service has yet to be determined.

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