Thelma M. Payne, 82, of St. Joseph, went to meet her Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, Sunday, December 2, 2012 at her home. A Celebration of Life Eternal will be held 10:00A.M. Thursday at the First Church of God, 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, with Rev. Robert Confer officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Allegan, MI. Friends may call from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. Wednesday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to Dollars for Scholars Foundation or the organization of the donor's choice. Those wishing to sign Thelma's Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Thelma was born May 9, 1930 in Allegan to Francis & Vera (Belden) Cook. She graduated from Allegan High School in 1947. On April 5, 1952, she married Charles E. Payne in Allegan. Thelma was a member of Napier Parkview Baptist Church for thirty-eight years, and for the last twelve years, a member of the First Church of God, belonging to the Ladies Missionary Society of both. She was a member of the Blossomland Doll Club, and a professional volunteer-donating her time and talents at Birthright, Child & Family Services, and with Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for forty-five years. Thelma is survived by her husband Charles; her children-Mary (Scott) Donaldson of Cincinnati, OH, John Payne of Kalamazoo; and several nieces & nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Esther Merchant, her brother Francis Cook, and a half-brother Vern Cook. The family appreciates the outpouring of love, prayer and care that Thelma received from devoted friends, loving caregivers, and Lakeland Hospice at Home.
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Dec. 4, 2012