Jack H. Payne, 1941-2013: CPA led Seneca library, chamber


TIFFIN — Jack H. Payne, the owner of an accounting firm for nearly 50 years who had a long record of community leadership, died Monday in his home. He was 71.

He had congestive heart failure, his son John said.

Mr. Payne, a certified public accountant, retired in 2007. He attended Iowa State University and received an accounting degree from Tiffin University in 1965.

He began his career that year with a local firm, Deinzer, Pfeiffer and Co. His wife, Susan, said that he was able to acquire the firm three years later, in part because Richard Pfeiffer wanted to devote more time to Tiffin University, where he was president.

Mr. Pfeiffer, after retiring in 1985, joined Mr. Payne’s firm as a CPA. He died in 1985.

Tax accounting was among Mr. Payne’s specialties, but he advised local business clients weekly, monthly, and quarterly, his wife said.

He was a trustee of the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library for three decades and was board president the last 15 years, said Bonnie Boroff, board vice president.

Mr. Payne was known for fostering open discussion among board members and open communication with the administration.

“The really important thing with the library board is how well [members] know the community, how well they can work with the community,” Mrs. Boroff said. “He did that very well. He’s been an extremely effective library leader for a long time.”

He also was a trustee of the library foundation.

He didn’t hesitate to get involved elsewhere. He remained treasurer of the Humane Society of Seneca County.

He formerly led the board of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce. As a young business owner, he was a member and former president of the Tiffin JayCees.

“This is a small community, and everybody pitches in where they can,” his wife said. “He was great at organizing this, that, and the other.”

He played golf — “that was his passion,” his wife said — and he was a member for more than 45 years of the Mohawk Golf & Country Club in Tiffin.

He was a past president of the club and, in 1969, was club golf champion.

He was a former member of Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. He belonged to the Elks Lodge in Tiffin. He was a member of Old Trinity Episcopal Church, Tiffin.

He was born Aug. 21, 1941, in Port Clinton to Irma and Orville Yoder.

Surviving are his wife, the former Susan Zeis, whom he married Sept. 1, 1962; sons, John and Christopher Payne; brothers, Robert and Thomas Payne, and two grandchildren.

There will be no services. The family will receive visitors from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the Mohawk Golf & Country Club. Arrangements are by the Hoffmann-Gottfried-Mack Funeral Home, Tiffin.

The family suggests tributes to the Orville D. and Irma Ruth Yoder Payne scholarship fund at Tiffin University; the Tiffin-Seneca Library Foundation; the Humane Society of Seneca County, or Community Hospice Care, Tiffin.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.