Funeral Announced For Local Producer, Playwright Killed In Crash

Friends and family will gather this weekend to remember the life of a local playwright and producer killed in a car accident.

David Payton, of Greenville, died in a crash in South Carolina last Tuesday. He was 51 years old.

Payton's play "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" was produced into a movie in 2008.

A celebration of life is planned for Friday at 7 p.m. at Reimage Church in Winterville. Payton's funeral is scheduled for noon Saturday at Sycamore Hill Baptist Church in Greenville.

Payton leaves behind three children.



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Friends are remembering a local playwright and producer whose most famous work became a movie.

David Payton of Greenville died in a crash in South Carolina Tuesday. He was 51 years old.

A report in The Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina says Payton lost control of his truck on I-95 in Colleton County, SC on Tuesday morning. The newspaper reported Payton was pinned underneath the truck and was killed. It's not clear why he crashed.

According to Vendetta Filmworks, Payton's play "A Good Man is Hard to Find" was based on Payton's life. “I was in a marriage where I gave all I could to be a good husband and father, yet my wife was unfaithful," Payton said. "I took my experience of heartache and forgiveness and created a story that brought the reality of life, love, marriage and fidelity to the stage.”

"A Good Man is Hard to Find" was nominated as "Play of the Year" by the NAACP in 1993 and is considered a classic in the African American community. It was produced into a movie in 2008.

We have no information at this time on any funeral arrangements.


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  • by Carolyn Location: Greenville,NC on Oct 16, 2011 at 08:22 PM
    I thought the rumors of David's death was just misimformation,unfortunately it was true! I'm still in shock. I have enjoyed many of Mr. Payton's plays.I pray for comfort for the family as they mourn the unexpected loss of their loved one.The world was a better place for having you in it.God bless you all.
  • by Sylvia Location: Durham on Oct 14, 2011 at 09:14 PM
    I have fond memories of David Payton. I auditioned for David over the phone and he hired me as a actor and singer for the play "A Good Man is Hard To Find" in the 90's. I traveled with the play for a years it was a phenomenal experience and the beginning of so many doors were opened for me because David saw in me what I didn't see in myself. To the family, I am in much prayer for you as you mourn the loss of such a great icon. May God comfort you in the days to come.
  • by The Williams and Best Family Location: Greenville, NC on Oct 14, 2011 at 06:52 AM
    Family be strong, God will comfort you during this very sad time. Terry is resting in the arms of Jesus
  • by Glenda Location: N.C. on Oct 13, 2011 at 01:36 PM
    The world is suffering from a truly great loss. I have seen many of Mr. Payton's plays and know that his gift of spiritual insight will truly be missed.
  • by Kim Location: Tarboro on Oct 13, 2011 at 01:12 PM
    He "WAS" our Tyler Perry. I will never forget how proud my husband and I were when this "GREAT" play came to Tarboro. The talent was superb. So when I heard of Tyler Perry I thought Mr Payton had changed his name.:)God bless the family!
  • by Big AL Location: Greene Co on Oct 13, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    He was one of a kind! Right there with Tyler Perry. I met him once and just as a down to earth man. I wish the world had a lot more good men like him. IT sure is a lesser place with out him! God Bless the family and God has a new angel.
  • by Tameika Location: Greenville on Oct 13, 2011 at 07:36 AM
    I will miss you Uncle Terry, you were the greatest playwrighter ever known. You will never be forgotten. Love Meika
  • by Keith on Oct 13, 2011 at 06:14 AM
    This is sad news to hear. This guy has produced some really nice plays. God Bless him and his family during this time.
  • by Joyce Location: Chocowinity on Oct 13, 2011 at 05:31 AM
    It saddens my heart to hear this. Such a talented man. I have enjoyed his plays and the latest "Behind the Pulpit" was just as encouraging as his other plays. To the family you have my deepest sympathy.
  • by Michelle Location: NC on Oct 12, 2011 at 03:34 PM
    Mr. Payton's legacy will live on.This world through his ministry as a Playwright has grown by leap and bounds and the world is indebted to him for evermore. R.I.P.
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