Eric E Payton

February 6th, 1929 to February 19th, 2022
Eric Earl Bramwell Payton, 93 of South Bend, Indiana, and formerly of Port Huron, was promoted to Glory on Saturday, February 19, 2022. He was born February 6, 1929 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada to then Captain William Herbert and Ivy Payton. As a child of Salvation Army officers he moved frequently and graduated from Port Huron High School in 1946. Eric served in the United States Air Force as a bandsman from 1950-1953. As the drum major he led the Air Force band in welcoming dignitaries to Andrews AFB. He was most humbled by his opportunity to play “Taps” for fallen airmen at Arlington National Cemetery. After his military service he completed his education at Wayne State University and began teaching band at Washington Junior High School. He went on to Port Huron High School where he created the Big Red Marching Machine (BRMM). He finished out his teaching years at Edwardsburg High School in Edwardsburg, Michigan and at Bethel University in Mishawaka, Indiana. As the director of the BRMM, Eric put Port Huron on the map as one of the largest and most accomplished high school bands in Michigan. They travelled and performed extensively throughout the Midwest. Eric arranged for the BRMM Jazz Ensemble to travel to Scotland in 1971 and engaged the entire Port Huron community to send the band to Munich, Germany to participate in the 1972 Olympic music festival and parades and tied for first place. Over his years as band director of the BRMM Eric added immeasurable wealth to the lives of thousands of students through his musicianship, compassion, humor, creativity and enthusiasm. He was a mentor and friend to many. As a member of the Salvation Army Kroc Center in South Bend, Eric was a light for many. In fact, in 2019 he was presented the “Be The Light Award.” He is survived by four children, Rich (Heidi) Payton, Jeff (Barbie) Payton, Barbara Payton and Matt Payton; five grandchildren, Elyse Payton (Zach Anderson), Lindsay (Brad) McDougal, Kelley (Matt) Kobold, Alec (Meaghan) Payton and Kelsay (fiancé Matt Kloeffler) Payton three great grandchildren, Killian Payton, Ellowyn Payton and Brodie McDougal; two siblings, David (Judy) Payton and Evangeline (Paul) Howard; a sister-in-law, Eunice Payton; a brother-in-law, Larry Hull; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Brigadiers William Herbert and Ivy Payton; his siblings Colonels Beulah (Joe) Craig, Orville (Betty) Payton, Donald Payton, Lt Colonel Muriel Hull, Elizabeth Budry, Ruth Payton DeArment Adair (Donald DeArment and Norman Adair); and his former wife Margaret “Peggy” Payton. A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, March 7th, 2022 at the Salvation Army Port Huron Citadel, 2000 Court Street. Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 in the Salvation Army section of Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, 1032 N Main St. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army KROC Center of South Bend, 900 W Western Ave, South Bend, IN 46601. Arrangements are by Pollock-Randall Funeral Home. To send condolences, visit .

No Upcoming Events

Document Actions