Rex indoors and outdoors on January 27th, 2014
The Friends of the Logging Museum were devastated by news that our friend, docent, exhibit builder, and supporter of the museum since its inception, had passed away during what we, and Rex, had assumed was a routine surgery. This is his obituary as posted in the on-line newspaper, “thepinetree.net”.
DONALD “REX” PAYTON (11/04/41 – 1/27/14)
Rex Payton of Angels Camp, passed away on 1/27/14. He was born on 11/04/41 to Leah Crumly Payton and Chester Payton in Watseka, Illinois. He is survived by his wife of 51 years Jac (Jaci) Elaine McCutchan Payton; his son Benjamin Payton (Vicky) of Marina, CA; his daughter Brenda Jones (Darren) of Angels Camp, CA; his sister Marguerite Payton Rose and nephew Dean Rose, both of Texas; six grandchildren: Sesar and Nick Sanchez, Jordan Payton, Katie Smith, Travis Rankin, and Tim Jones; his wife’s brother and sister-in-law Jim & Pat McCutchan of Murphys, CA; and two nephews Jeff and Jerry McCutchan of Illinois. Rex attended elementary school and high school in Sheldon, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois and graduated in 1963 with a B.S. degree in Forestry. On 1/27/63 he married his high school sweetheart Jaci. They moved to Calaveras County in July 1963 where Rex began his career with the U.S. Forest Service. Their son Benjamin was born in 1965 and daughter Brenda in 1969. His love for his kids and grandkids knew no bounds. Rex loved his work with the Forest Service and the U.S.F.S. friendships that he formed were precious to him. Rex enjoyed traveling (especially to Hawaii), golf, babysitting the preschoolers from the MOPS Program, and volunteering at the Friends of the Logging Museum in White Pines, CA. He was an active member of Murphys Covenant Church where he served as Financial Secretary and Treasurer.
Rex will be remembered for his sense of humor, his inclination to tell “stories” (aka stretching the truth), for his quiet personality, his loyalty, his love of children and theirs for him. He was even- tempered, never got angry, never had an enemy and was loved by all who knew him. He was recently described as a “gentle giant”. Although he kept his emotions to himself and was never very vocal, he loved the Lord and served Him in his own quiet way.
Thoughts from FLM members:
Webmaster, Executive Director, Docent, John Hofstetter
I’d like to be able to say that I knew Rex well, but unfortunately for me, I only knew him from our having worked together a number of times as docents, and from some of the social events we have had at, or for, the museum. Like me, Rex loved cribbage and he would bring his tiny cribbage board to the museum and when guests were not there, we would play the best two out of three games. I accused him of taking advantage of me by having a cribbage board so small, I couldn’t see the peg holes, but knew that I didn’t have to worry about Rex taking advantage. In our work, or play, together his great sense of humor always came through. I liked how bright he was and the jokes we laughed at might well have not seemed funny to some others. In my opinion, Res knew a lot about a lot of things, particularly forestry, but had a way I liked of not ever appearing to think it knew it all. I value the time he and I spent together and wish the opportunity to spend more time together had lasted many more years.
President of FLM, Ginny Kafka
You would have thought that Rex was some kind of lady’s man, and in a way he was. Although he never, and never would have, done anything that might seem to make someone a lady’s man, all of us ladies at the Logging Museum loved Rex. Perhaps this was in part due to the fact he always did what needed done often without being asked, and I think many of us thought that Rex had the traits we would appreciate in a husband. He was an outstanding asset and a great friend. I think I speak for all his female admirers.
Director, Docent, former Treasurer, Helen Tardif
I had the pleasure of working with Rex as a fellow docent for the Museum. He had a degree plus a career in Forestry and was very knowledgeable on the subject. Rex lived and worked in Calaveras County and was well acquainted with the many changes in logging and the lumber industry. When he wasn’t busy explaining things and answering the visitors questions, he kept busy by doing everything from cleaning bathrooms to blowing pine needles off the parking area.
Bex had a pleasant personality and many entertaining stories to tell. Rex always did more than his share and was available to work whenever needed. We could always count on hm. He was loved by all and will be sorely missed.
More to Come
More to come from other FLM members and anyone else who would like to add their feelings. You may just use the comments below to express yourself. Some of those I may move up into the main page.