Residential Life, Housing director remembered


Grambling State University not only lost an alumnus but an employee as well on April 1. James Roy Payne who passed away with lung disease, was the director of Residential Life at GSU

“We were best friends. We talked about anything and he had a great sense of humor,” said Zondria Gafford, a family member. 

The funeral service was held on Saturday in Bernice at the Gum Spring Baptist Association Building. He was buried in the New Land Baptist Church Cemetery.

Payne was born Feb. 22, 1958, in Bernice to Wordie and Allen Payne Sr. 

He graduated from Bernice High School and received  his  bachelor’s  degree  from  Louisiana  Tech University in Ruston and his master’s from Grambling State University. 

Payne was previous employed at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, Midwestern State University  in Wichita Falls, Texas, Jarvis Christian College in  Hawkins, Texas, and Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. 

Gafford said, “I am very proud of his accomplishments. The things I miss the most are the phone calls and emails from my dear cousin.”  

Payne  leaves  to  cherish  his  memory  with  three  daughters.  His  legacy  also includes six grandchildren. 

Others who will also miss him will be aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and the Grambling State University staff will always remember James Roy Payne.