Former Payne Chevrolet Co-Owner Bobby Payne Dies, He Was 91

Former Payne Chevrolet Co-Owner Bobby Payne Dies, He Was 91
Former Payne Chevrolet Co-Owner Bobby Payne Dies, He Was 91

SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) –   Longtime Robertson Countian and retired co-owner of Payne Chevrolet Bobby Brent Payne has died. Bobby passed away Saturday, December 30, 2023, at TriStar NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield TN, he was 91.

Bobby Payne was well known in Robertson County as the co-owner of Payne Chevrolet until he retired in 2007.

Payne inherited the local dealership in the early 1960s from his father Byram Payne and served as co-owner with his brother Don until his retirement in 2007.

Payne Chevrolet was founded in 1926 by Byram and his brother Van Payne. The two managed the business together for several years until Byram bought it out completely. Decades later, Byram would pass the dealership down to his two sons, who continued the family business into the 21st century. Bobby was first introduced to the business at the dealership’s Locust Street location, (now home to the Robertson County Senior Center). This was the second location of the business, moving there in 1928 so they could have two separate buildings (one for Service and one for Sales). Despite the gained efficiency of the two buildings, the space could only hold around 30 vehicles.

As a result of increased business, the need arose for an even bigger area. Under Bobby and Don’s leadership, a new building was built in 1969 with more lot space at its current location, 2807 Memorial Blvd. in Springfield. MAP

“He enjoyed talking to people,” Payne’s daughter Debbie Davis said. “Being in business, he said you have to be interested in people and talk to them and ask questions. He was known for asking questions to find out about people. He did a lot of paperwork. That was his whole life for years.”

Currently, Payne Chevrolet is in its third and fourth generations of family ownership with Bobby’s nephew David Payne and David’s son Alex Payne at the helm. They have been co-owners and dealers since 1985 and 2021, respectively, as they continue the family legacy.

“Since he retired, he remained a staple at Payne,” said David Payne. “He came in every Saturday to talk and watch the games on TV. Everyone enjoyed seeing him around.”

Bobby was born on Sept. 1, 1932, to the late Byram and Ruby Simmons Payne. After graduating from college, he served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War. Outside of his work at the dealership, Payne was a member and usher at Springfield Baptist Church and a founding member of the Springfield Civitan Club, a service club dedicated to helping people in their local community.

“He was overseas during the Korean War. He didn’t fight, but he was over in China, Taiwan and the Far East for a while,” Davis said. 

Funeral services for Bobby were held on January 4th at Springfield Baptist Church, Pastor David Evans officiated. Bobby was laid to rest at Elmwood Cemetery with Tray Davis, Samuel Davis, Ethan Davis, Terry Davis, Jim Campbell, and Craig Brown serving as pallbearers.

“I think he will be remembered most for his generosity,” Davis added. “He gave to a lot of charities and to church. He was at church every Sunday. He was also a founding member of the Springfield Civitan Club, and he never missed a meeting. He’ll be known for how friendly he was. I heard somebody describe him as unique. He was just interested in other people and giving to other people.”

A special thank you to Payne Chevrolet for assisting Smokey Barn News with this report.

For Bobby’s online obituary and photos on Austin & Bell’s website CLICK HERE.

PHOTOS: Courtesy Payne Chevrolet

Notice the Post Office left, now the Robertson County Museum.

Mobile: To See The Latest Stories or to share this article, scroll below