Services have been announced for Darrin "Mark" Payne, a former Police Department officer and the son of the township's first police chief.
Visitation for Payne, 49, will be held on Monday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Anderson and Campbell Funeral Home, 115 Lacey Road in Whiting, according to an online obituary. A funeral service will be held at the Macedonia Baptist Church, 143 John St. in Lakewood, on Tuesday, July 24, at 11 a.m.
Payne worked as a police officer in Manchester from the mid-1980s through 2000 and was the youngest son of the department's first chief of police, Harold Payne. The elder Payne, also Manchester's first full-time officer, was appointed to lead the force after a full-time police department was created through a township ordinance in January 1965.
Harold Payne retired from the department in 1995 and died in 2001. He is survived by his wife, Hattie.
"All the guys who worked with Mark are saddened by the news," said Chief of Police Brian Klimakowski the day of Payne's death, adding that many of the officers who worked with Payne have since left the department.
Detectives from Manchester and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office are investigating Payne's death. An autopsy and toxicology test were planned to determine the cause of death, according to Klimakowski.
Retired Manchester lieutenant and former collegue Mike Lychock described Payne, a 1981 Manchester Township High School graduate, as a man who "genuinely cared about the people in town."
Many Manchester Patch readers, including a man who identified himself as one of Payne's former teachers, .
"The Payne family always represented the finest group of people in the township," Stephen Cross writes. "Every member of that remarkable family became deeply involved in community activities. This will be a sad burden for them to carry."