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Richard R. Payette, age 75, of Baxter, MN died comfortably with his wife, Shirley at his side on Monday, September 27, 2021.
Richard was born November 7, 1945 in Chicago, IL to Joseph and Rose Payette. Richard’s love of the north woods began at a very young age when he would travel to Lake Vermillion to visit his Uncle Paul and Aunt Helvie. It was here where he learned and got so much joy from fishing, hunting and exploring everything that northern MN had to offer.
Upon graduating from high school, Richard went to college graduating with a degree in deaf education. Richard then honorably served two tours in Vietnam as a Marine Corps Officer. He would continue his military service in a later tour with the U.S. Coast Guard. Upon return, Richard achieved two additional graduate degrees in teaching.
Richard married, and later divorced his first wife, Connie. Together, they had two son’s, Andre and Daniel.
Richard’s passion and joy was always teaching, where he began his career with the Minneapolis Public Schools teaching deaf and special education. Richard then met and later married the love of his life, Shirley. Together, they embarked on a new journey to Alaska to follow Richard’s love of teaching and the great outdoors.
Richard taught deaf and special education in the Alaska Public Schools for 23 years. He made a tremendous difference and touched the lives of countless children over his 35+ year career. In his free time, Richard loved to fish and golf! He even started his own fishing charter for halibut and salmon out of Ketchikan, Alaska. He was a devout Christian and loved his Catholic faith. Richard loved all of his family fiercely, especially his grandchildren and his pets, Choco, Fritz and Taz.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Shirley, Baxter, MN; sons Andre (Rachel) Payette of Hawley, MN; Daniel (Kelly) Payette of Frisco, TX; grandchildren, Seth, Rory, Camden, Lexi; step-children, Tami, Lori, Kristi, Sheri(Todd), Robbie(Robyn); step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Francis Payette; sister Rosemary Clifford; and step-daughter, Cindi.
Mass of Christian burial will take place at 1:00PM on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at St. Francis Catholic Church, 404 N 9th St. Brainerd, MN 56401. A visitation will take place one hour prior to services.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Richard Payette are preferred to the animal humane society or animal shelter of your choosing.
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