Our beloved historian David Payne passed away on December 30, 2021, but his presence will be felt by his many friends and students for a long, long while. He was a gentle soul with a strong attachment to the people and things he loved.  One of those things was, of course, ikebana.

David owned Payne and Morrison Florists and taught Western floral arranging  before his first Ikenobo lesson on March 25, 1982.  Eight years later, he started teaching. He once said that the best part of teaching is to sit down in front of a student’s work and see that he or she has understood the design concepts and used the material in a way that complemented the arrangement.  David’s favorite arrangements to teach were isshuike and nishuike shokas which he often put in the tokonoma in the Asian Gallery at the Phoenix Art Museum.

He was president of Ikenobo of Arizona from 2001 to 2005 and during that time often served as the onstage assistant to the visiting Japanese professors during their annual visits. With his experience and connections to floral wholesalers, he was able to provide the best and freshest materials for the professor.

After his term as president, David took on another important role, that of historian.  In 2006, he produced a history of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of North America, Arizona Chapter.  He interviewed dozens of current and former members to get as much information possible about the early days of Ikenobo in Arizona.  All of this would have been lost without David’s initiative.

If you ever took workshops from David, you remember them and know why David was the heart of Ikenobo in Arizona.  Thank you, David.