Bob Payne was born in 1910 in New Castle, IN and moved to Dayton, OH with his family at the age of 6. He started his much heralded athletic career at Central Elementary in the 6th grade, excelling in both baseball and basketball.
After spending his freshman year at Parker High, he enrolled at Stivers High School, where he began etching out athletic history in football, basketball and baseball. As a three-year starter in Football as a tight end, he earned 3 varsity letters, capping his career by being named in the Ohio All-Star team and earning 1st Team Dayton Daily News All-City honors.
Bob was recognized throughout the state as a prolific shooting guard on a Stivers basketball team that won both the City League and the State Championship tournament in the same year. He would again earn 3 consecutive varsity letters and receive 1st Team Dayton Daily News All-City honors in his senior year.
That 1928 State Championship, which concluded with a 25-20 victory over Canton McKinley, was the first of three consecutive state titles to be won by Stivers, a record which still stands today. His skills were such that he received an offer to play for the University of Kentucky.
Given his stellar record at Stivers, Bob wanted to prove that he could successfully compete at “the school on the hill” and accepted a football scholarship from the University of Dayton. He was to become the first graduate of a Dayton Public high school to earn 9 letters, to be elected Captain in 3 major sports and subsequently, be enshrined in the UD Athletic Hall of Fame in 1967.
Bob’s athletic ability was also recognized by earning All Ohio honors at UD and being inducted into the Dayton Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
Bob married Rita Ruetschilling in 1936 and raised three wonderful children, daughters Patricia Merges, Maricarol Temple and son Rob Payne.