Judge Clifford Payne Sr. was born on September 22, 1953 in Bronx, New York. He attended Alfred E. Smith High School in Bronx, NY before joining the United States Navy as a Seabee in 1971. He was honorably discharged in 1975. In 1977, he became employed with the New York Botanical Gardens working as a Mechanical Engineer before retiring in 2003. In 2006, he relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina where he departed this life on February 11, 2021, after a long battle with cancer.
Judge was very active in the Masons for more than twenty years, and a member of King Solomon Lodge No. 8. He also was an avid sports fan. He loved the New York Yankees, Knicks, and Giants. During his younger days you could always find him on a basketball court ready to take on whoever was willing to play. He competed in many tournaments earning him over 100 trophies. As he got older, he decided he wanted to coach kids. He earned a reputation as a dedicated and “winning” coach in New York and North Carolina. He was known as the coach who believed in his players and always encouraged them to do their best. He started a basketball camp for children in Greensboro, where they could learn the basics of basketball for free. He also started his own AAU Basketball team called “House of Payne”. Judge remained dedicated to his basketball team even as his health began to decline. In January of 2017, Greensboro Parks and Recreation named the basketball court at Lindley Community Recreation Center “House of Payne/Judge C. Payne Sr. Basketball Court” in recognition of his valuable contributions to the community.
Judge was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Beatrice Payne, his son Mark Payne, two sisters, Mary Taylor, and Marion Payne, and one brother, Robert Payne.
He leaves to cherish his memories; his wife Nadine Smith-Payne; daughters: Chantei and Imani; sons: Judge and Jaylen; granddaughters: Sadeera and Bree; brothers: Ronald, Richard, Johnny (Antoinette); sisters: Anna and Antoinette; and special friend Peggie. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. He was a friend to many and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
A Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, February 21, 2021 at Triad Cremation & Funeral Service 2110 Veasley Street Greensboro, NC 27407 with a Visitation prior starting at 1:00 P.M. A burial to follow the service at 3:30 P.M. at Guil-Rand Memorial Park Cemetery 6901 Appletree Road High Point, NC 27263.
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