St. John's Cemetery Individual Record

M.D. Walter Clifton Payne, Sr.

M.D. Walter Clifton Payne, Sr.
(January 30, 1889 -- May 3, 1972)

Section: 25
Space: 5
Lot: 1
Spouse: Vivian Ballard
Place of Birth: Luverne, Al
Military: World War I
Occupation: Medical
Owner: W C Payne

Physician and Surgeon; Outstanding Local and State Medical Leader; Innovative Force in Developing Hospitals, Blood Bank, Nursing School and Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Dr. Payne was born in Luverne, Alabama, in 1889 and attended the University of Alabama, Tulane University Medical School and then did post-graduate work at Cornell University and the New York Post Graduate School. He served in World War I as a naval lieutenant, beginning his practice in Pensacola prior to the war.

Dr. Payne was quickly noted for both his medical and administrative skills. His practice became large (as a physician and surgeon) and in company with several other physicians and local business leaders participated in the successful invitation to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in bringing what became Sacred Heart Hospital to the community in 1916. In a similar vein a quarter century later Dr. Payne served as chairman of the Advisory Council to the Florida Development Commission in the late 1940s when that commission first had funds to distribute for new hospital construction. Dr. Payne�s work there enabled Baptist Hospital of Pensacola to obtain the state�s first such grant, thus enabling the hospital�s directors to proceed with construction.

In the field of health care Dr. Payne became known as the local �dean� because of his prominence. Through a career which spanned more than sixty years here, he had leadership positions with the TB Association, the American Heart and Cancer Associations, Blue Shield of Florida, the Gulf Coast Clinical Society, the Florida Receiving Home, the Florida and American Medical Associations, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, and the Visiting Nurses Association. Dr. Payne was one of the founders of the Escambia County Blood Bank, and was instrumental in establishment of both the Sacred Heart and Pensacola Junior College schools of nursing. He was a president of the Escambia County Medical Society, and over time held many major committee and administrative assignments there. He was instrumental in development of the Florida Vocational Rehabilitation Service, and was honored as a life member of the medical staff at Baptist Hospital and the surgical staff at Sacred Heart.

Beyond medicine, Walter Payne was the 1929-30 president of the Rotary Club, was named as a Kiwanis Club Honoree of the Year, and participated broadly in affairs of the YMCA. He also served for years in the councils of Community Chest, United Fund and United Way.

Dr. Payne was married to the former Vivian Ballard of Troy, Alabama. The couple had one son, Dr. Walter Payne, Jr., and one daughter Vivian Patricia Halperen. Just before the onset of the Depression, the Paynes built their fine home on North Spring Street. This was a Tudor style house, erected on the site of Ft. San Bernardo which itself had been raised in 1781. Dr. Walter Clifton Payne, Sr. was buried in St. John's Cemetery 2 North Section 25.