SOUTH BEND, IN – Robert “Bob” Eugene Payton, 72, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on March 19, 2021, after several weeks of compassionate care from the team at Heartland Hospice.
Bob was born on January 30, 1949, in Chicago, IL to the late Eugene and Esther (Moore) Payton and was a lifelong resident of the South Bend, IN area community.
On November 28, 1970, at First Christian Church in Mishawaka, he married Sheila Van Bruaene. Bob and Sheila were married for 38 years.
Surviving are two sons, Timothy “Tim” (+ Sherri) Payton of Missouri City, TX, and Paul (+ Kimberly) Payton of Austin, TX; seven grandchildren, Graham, Hope, Grace, Emma, Andrew, Kade and Connor Payton; and brother Larry (+ Mary) Payton of Oviedo, FL. Bob’s sons and grandchildren were the joy and pride of his life.
Bob attended South Bend Riley High School (class of 1967). In 1966, at the age of 17, Bob enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Bob was a combat veteran serving with the 3rd Marine Division, Force Logistics Ground Battalion, based at Dong Ha, South Vietnam near the Demilitarized Zone.
After his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Bob returned home and started his apprenticeship to become a journeyman pipefitter at AM General in South Bend. Bob’s hard work paid off and he quickly rose through the supervision and management ranks of the maintenance department to ultimately become Director of Plant Engineering.
After 19 years at AM General, Bob transitioned to the second half of his career where he worked for Cummins Engine Co., Dearborn Crane, and Cherry Imports, among others. During this time, he realized a professional dream by owning and operating Cerilean Products with his lifelong friend, Mic Marosz.
Bob was an avid animal lover, especially dogs. His pets were like family members to him and later in life, his daily routine featured feeding treats to every passing dog in the neighborhood as well as several favorite stops throughout the community.
Sports and leisure were always an important part of Bob’s life, finding fun and enjoyment in every turn. Whether it was summer evenings in the Mishawaka Fast Pitch League, fall Saturdays at Notre Dame football games, winter nights in the Parkway Lanes Bowling League, or spring weekend golf outings, he had a good time in every season. Bob looked forward to the ‘Month of May’ every year and his annual pilgrimage to the Indianapolis 500 where many a memory was made with his wide network of friends over 40+ race weekends.
Visitation for family and friends will be Tuesday, March 23rd from 4 to 7 pm in Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka. A private family burial ceremony will be the next day at Southlawn Cemetery with Marine Corps Funeral Honors conducted by a local detail dispatched from Headquarters USMC.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joe Valley Marine Corps League Detachment #095, 539 Parry St., South Bend, IN 46617.
To leave the family an online condolence, please visit www.hahnfuneralhomes.com.
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