Richard D. Payne Sr., 83, master of Circuit court

December 29, 2003

Richard Dandridge Payne Sr., a longtime Baltimore and Towson attorney and master of the Circuit Court of Baltimore County, died of leukemia Friday at his Catonsville home. He was 83.

Born in Baltimore, he spent his childhood in High Point, N.C., and Washington before moving back as a teen-ager. He graduated from Forest Park High School in the late 1930s. He earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1943 and was admitted to the Maryland State Bar Association in 1947. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola College in 1956.

Mr. Payne served in the Army from 1945 to 1947. After receiving training in criminal investigation at Camp Bullis, Texas, he was an investigator in Korea until he was honorably discharged.

From 1947 to 1950, he was counsel for Employers Mutual Insurance Co. in Baltimore. He then worked briefly as staff attorney for the Baltimore City Legal Aid Bureau before starting a private practice in 1951. In 1956, he began a partnership with Kemp McDaniel, working in Baltimore and then in Towson.

From 1965 to 1998, he ran a private practice at the Equitable Trust Building in Towson, specializing in wills, estates and trusts. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1965.

He was appointed a master of the Circuit Court in 1976, judging juvenile and family cases until 2000. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the Baltimore County Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Payne was a past president and member of the board of directors of the Catonsville Celebrations Committee, which schedules parades and fireworks displays. He was a charter member and legal counsel for the Rolling Road Golf Club, a member of the executive committee at the Western YMCA and a past president and judge advocate for the Catonsville branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He raised wirehaired fox terriers and showed them at events around Maryland, winning "best in show" awards several times. He was a past president of the Catonsville Kennel Club.

His wife of 62 years, Evelyn Daniels Payne, died last year.

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, 200 Ingleside Ave., Catonsville.

He is survived by a son, Richard D. Payne Jr. of Sharpsburg; a daughter, Elizabeth Payne Nowell of Linthicum; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

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