Nature 14

Jody A Payne

November 30, 1936 ~ August 29, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


JODY ANN PAYNE, born November 30, 1936 in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. Father, Earl Lloyd Thomas. Mother, Beulah Mae Cheeks. Passed away on August 29, 2023 of heart failure. 

Jody had a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology. She worked for Lincoln County School District for 15 years testing children for learning difficulties. She also worked in Fontana, CA for 10 years as a teacher and speech pathologist. She was recognized by her colleagues as a consummate professional. Jody put her heart and soul into every task she undertook. 

She was an ATHLETE. In high school, it was basketball. She loved to play all sports. Running turned out to be her passion. An ultra marathoner. First woman over 50 years old to complete the Western States 100, two Iron Man (woman), many marathons and the Gran Canyon 50 mile run were some of her highlights. She was an avid hiker and bicyclist. She did a three week hike of the Pacific Crest Trail alone. She bicycled Europe, staying in Hostels and camping. She wanted to sleep in the Black Forest and did. She wanted to see the Windmills and Tulips of Holland and did. 

Her love of travel took her to Europe, Ireland, Mexico, Guatemala, and a lot of the U.S. and always wanted to do more. 

She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years Ralph Lee Payne, her sisters Lois Hunter and Jena Thomas, her brothers Reed Thomas and Ralph Thomas. 

She leaves behind sister Charlotte DeMeo and husband Armond, many nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews all of whom she was so proud.

You could always find her in the amazing landscaped garden. She knew every plant and tree on her property. It was not unusual to see her with a chainsaw or machete in hand, gloves, work clothes and any number of hats. 

Setting her mind to accomplish or to learn how to do something different... quilting her designs were beautiful and choices of colors were her own. She took on scrapbooking and stamping for awhile. Amazing gift cards. A great photographer, always something of nature.

A prolific reader. Loved history and mystery novels. If you see a book in her house and would like to take it, it would please her to share with you. 

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