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On May 21, 2020, David Lee "Shorty" Payne went to be with our Heavenly Father after a lengthy battle with illness at the age of 70 years old. David affectionately known by family, friends, and coworkers as "Shorty", was born in Silver City, N.M. on July 29, 1949 to his parents Homer G and Pauline F Payne. He was the fourth of six children in the Payne family. He graduated from Silver City High School in 1967 and continued his education for a semester at Western New Mexico University. Later, he enlisted in the United States Army on February 24, 1969 and served with the 127th Signal Battalion in South Korea until he was honorably discharged September 27, 1970 at the rank of Sergeant. On December 4 of that same year, he married his High School Sweetheart of five years, Billie C Pennington of Santa Rita, N.M. and began to raise a family. He and his wife welcomed their son David Cory on September 24, 1971 and their daughter Crystal Dawn three years later on August 30, 1974. During this time, David began a career with Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad on October 30, 1972. Beginning in Hurley, N.M., he quickly worked his way from brakeman to conductor, working as far north as Raton, N.M. to as far south as El Paso, TX and many points between gaining notoriety for his proficiency and professionalism along the way. He stated that the greatest joy he found in his profession was training new hires and preparing them for service. He loved sending out the next generation of railroad workers and took great pride in teaching them the finer points of the job. He also loved the camaraderie be found amidst the railroad family he had come a part of over the span of his 37 year long career. At the age of 62, he retired from the recently merged Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad on August 1, 2009. Aside from his career, his most inspirational attribute was his love and dedication to his Family and Friends. Weather out camping and fishing or spending time at home, his priority was always on the relationships forged by family and friends. He always encouraged them to reach for greater heights and always lived with honesty and integrity, with a willingness to lend a helping hand where it was needed. From his wisdom and wit to his mischievous grin and "Clint Eastwood" Styled glare, he will be missed by all that knew and loved him. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Billie; his son Cory and his wife Sheri, his daughter Crystal and her husband David, five grandchildren; Jessica Call, Scott Olinger, Lilly Payne-Lisle, Travis Payne and the fifth grandchild due November 5, 2020 along with five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. He is also survived by his mother Pauline and five siblings: Charles, Frances, Glen, James, and Rosemary along with countless friends and coworkers. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the celebration of life and committal services will be held at a later date to be announced by the family Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., (505)864-4448.