Walter Edward Payfer - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

August 31, 1944 - January 18, 2020

Walter Edward Payfer was born August 31, 1944 to Gustave and Joan (Murphy) Payfer in New York City. He spent his childhood in West Hempstead, NY, enjoying boats, friends, and stirring up a bit of trouble. After high school, he enlisted in the U S Army, married Maggie Hamilton and had daughters Kelly and Sharon, and son Walter Daniel. He worked climbing telephone poles for New York Telephone, driving cabs in the city, selling real estate, and ultimately, landing a sales job with 3M‘s Office Division selling copiers which were loaded into a station wagon from the family’s den. This job with 3M (and Imation) would last 38 years until his retirement. In 1980, the family moved to San Diego, allowing him to take up scuba diving, become an avid half-marathon runner, and travel extensively. Walter’s role with 3M now included selling data storage removable tape products. He married Jane Rodmyre in 1998 and his family immediately tripled. This blended group grew by marriages and the arrivals of seventeen grandchildren, to whom he was a very proud and involved “Gramps”. Walter is survived by his wife, Jane, sister Jeannine Payfer Flor (Bob), Atlanta, daughters Kelly Payfer (Andrew Maul), Singapore, Sharon Youngkrantz (John), Nashville, Corrie Panagiotopoulos (Angelo), Chicago, Mandy Biggar (Travis), Crystal Lake, sons Rod Hassler (Saige), L.A., Brent Hassler (Lacy), Anchorage, grandchildren, nieces and nephew, cousins, a plethora of friends with whom he shared rich and deep relationships, and his beloved dog Hank. He was preceded in death by his infant son, Walter Daniel Payfer.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Freedom Service Dogs of America.


  1. The Billmaier family says:

    Sharon and family- our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. We love you so much

  2. Doug Williams says:

    I am saddened to learn of Walters passing. My prayers for Gods comfort on the family. I very much enjoyed Walter during my 30 years with 3M and Imation. He will be missed by so many. My sincerest sympathies.

  3. Jenny and Chris Fisher says:

    To us, Walter was The Most Interesting Man in the World. My husband and I had the good fortune to discover places we likely never would have, traveling with Walter and Jane during his time with Imation. Tucson, Whistler, Lake Louise, St John, St Maarten, Bermuda, he showed us his love of travel, and helped us see how much we loved it too. What wonderful trips he planned, but I always looked forward to spending time with him just as much. I will forever be grateful for our conversations and our friendship. My thoughts are with Jane and the family. His loss will be felt by all who knew him.

  4. Kate Schmidt says:

    Jane…I am so very sorry to hear about Walters passing. I know you were looking forward to this time of life in Tucson together. If there is anything I can do for you here in the HOA ( and Rusty Orvik sends the same message) please let us know. Your neighbor’s here are thinking of you and sending you our best wishes.
    Kate Schmidt

  5. Peggy says:

    So sorry for your loss Walter and I were dancing buddies with many other friends while he lived in San Diego he was such a good man so sorry hes gone way too soon too many of my friends from back in that day in San Diego have past and they’re younger than me just doesn’t seem right may God give you peace and Comfort in a time that is so difficult God bless you and your family

  6. Carrie says:

    Miss you Uncle Walter! Carrie

  7. Grace Schulz says:

    Jane and family: I’m so sorry for your loss of Walter. Stan and I never got to know him very well, but we did think a lot of him and how he made you happy. Sorry that we can’t be with you for the funeral, but Stan just can’t get the time off from work in order to come. Our hearts and prayers are with you this week and in the days to come. God’s Blessings.

  8. Shelley Judd says:

    My sincerest condolences to the whole Payfer family. I am deeply saddened at your loss. This picture captures his spirit so well. I’ll never forget his kindness at Imation, and beyond, his sense of fun in life, and his consummate hosting skills. He was a truly fascinating person he was in life and I know everyone who knew him will miss him. Your family is in my prayers during this difficult time of sorrow.

  9. Mark Anderson says:

    Jane and Family;

    Unfortunately my computer remained in AZ with Michele when I returned to MN for a twelve day stint with our contractor … so we were unaware of Water’s hospitalization and, later, his passing. I would have certainly stayed in town for the funeral service if I had any idea that Walter was ill or had passed away. Walter and I shared histories at 3M although we never met when I worked there. I remember loading “209” copiers into station wagons as well. I first knew about him at a Plasmon meeting dinner where I sat near Jane and heard a glowing report of her recent marriage and great happiness. The sincerity of her comments reminded me of how rare it can be to hear a spouse so praised. Later, having met him and talked on a number of occasions, I understood how that could be. He was one of those guys who make good friends, good colleagues, good husbands, and good citizens. He will be very much missed. (Jane, if you happen to see this message, please send me your email address. On top of this bad news it appears that my directory is compromised and we no longer can call up your contact information). It is incredibly sad that there isn’t even time to get home for tomorrow’s funeral service. We will be there in spirit, for sure.

    Mark (and Michele) Anderson

  10. Joani and Armando Mendoza says:

    Dear Jane, Kelly, Sharon and family, We are so very saddened by the loss of Dear Walter! He will be so dearly missed by all. So many happy memories of dancing with him and friends in San Diego. Walter was very special to me, and the reason I asked him to walk me down the aisle of my wedding! Memories also of visiting you and Walter in MN. I can still see the photos we took by the body of water. Walter was a very loving, caring, and fun loving guy! Love the photo on this site. It so captures his spirit! Much love, prayers and blessings to all! Joani and Armando Mendoza

  11. Frank Payfer says:

    My Dear cousin Walter, somehow my original post never posted but yeah I probably goofed up so I will try again though knowing I have no idea what I wrote on Jan 16th here but the news on you was like a sledge hammer. You will always be in my prayers as you will be so missed by so many. I am proud of what an amazing man you were and loved by so many. My side of the family knows so many more relatives thanks all to you though you’d never have blown your own horn so I will gladly. Thanks to you I got a big cousin (all by 3 years) and so many more cousins. all thanks to you. You once told me while we were puffing cigars waiting to go up on your roof for another fantastic Tucson sunset that you were one of the luckiest guys around, You warmly talked about your lovely Jane, your daughters, your sister and a million grand kids and your buddies and others you loved. You just loved them all so much and man there’s no doubt how much you are loved. You are pretty much a Super Star cuz and hopefully we will someday watch another sunset, smoke cigars and sip a good whiskey and go on and on on all those folks who we love so much. Love you more like a brother but cousin is just fine too. Love you.

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