Dick Payne

The livestock industry lost one of its greatest friends and promoters on June 11, 2010, when Dick Payne handed the reins to the Lord. Cattleman, auctioneer, appraiser, and family man, Dick Payne passed away in his Yankton, SD, farm home with his son and daughter by his side (Jim Payne of Yankton and Pat (Allan) Karell of Billings).

Dick worked as an auctioneer and conducted auction sales for 67 years. He got his start at the age of eleven, working for fifty cents after school at Anderson Brothers Livestock Sales Co. in Yankton. By the age of 16, he worked as a ringman, practicing his chant, and auctioning every animal that went through the ring. One day, Dick was handed a golden opportunity when they put him behind the auction block to replace an absent auctioneer. Getting top prices for sellers led him to auctioneering at Stockmen’s Livestock Auction in Yankton; Sturgis Livestock Exchange, the Miller Sale Barn in Miller, SD, and countless purebred cattle sales in a five-state area.

In 1964, he placed fourth in the National Livestock Auctioneer Contest in Richmond, VA. In 2003, he was inducted into the South Dakota Auctioneer Hall of Fame. For Dick, auctioneering was a passion. He was particularly proud of the three generations of Payne auctioneers: his father, Armour, and his son, Jim, joined him in his love for auctioneering. Dick said his daughter “Patty” was the black sheep because she became a lawyer!

In honor of Dick’s promotion of rural and Western Life, a cowboy funeral was held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at the United Church of Christ Congregational in Yankton. The pine cowboy coffin from Red Lodge, MT was adorned with his silverbelly Stetson and a cascade of red roses. All pallbearers were banned from wearing ties and sportcoats – only jeans, boots, and a western hat would do. Music included “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from the musical, “Oklahoma!” and the Roy Rogers theme song, “Happy Trails To You.” Dick instructed the minister to “keep it short” so everyone could do what really matters: celebrate his life in party fashion with a barbeque and huge social gathering at the farm he owned and worked for 62 years.

Dick loved his cattle buying trips to Belle Fourche, Sturgis and Faith. Join the family in wishing “Happy Trails” to Dick Payne.

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Dick Payne