David B. Payne, age 53, passed away peacefully in his sleep with close friends by his side at Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.
Dave was a much-loved cook of Kings Deli for over 12 years. Many will miss his wonderful smile, kind heart, positive spirit, southern hospitality, witty sense of humor, and of course his food. He is survived by his dog Mojo and many close friends who adopted him into their families and will keep his memory alive in their hearts.
He was a lover of the arts and lived life to the fullest with an open-minded adventurous soul. Born April 12, 1964 in Oakman, Alabama where his most cherished grandmother, Polly Shirley, raised him. He became a lover of music at a young age while singing in his church choir and later graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in education and music. After a short stint as a band teacher in Birmingham, Alabama, he went on an adventure, which led him to the beaches of the Florida coast, St. Croix, and Cancun Mexico playing music in resorts along the way. He eventually landed in New Orleans, Louisiana where he fell in love with the culture of the French Quarter. It was there that he realized his love for Cajun food and began cooking in many popular restaurants. After 16 years in New Orleans, he went on another adventure, which led him through the Monument in Colorado, wine country in Sonoma, and finally landing him on San Juan Island where he felt most at home.
A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held at the San Juan Island Brewing Co. on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, at 5 – 7 p.m. for all who would like to attend.