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Gainesville - Ruth Caroline Jameson Payne, 94, passed from this life to her eternal reward on Friday, August 23, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.

Ruth was born into a Methodist ministry family in Wabasso, Florida on April 26, 1919. Traveling with her family she attended various Florida schools where her minister father was posted. She supported her father J.O. Jameson's ministry through teaching Sunday school and was a strong prayer warrior throughout her life. She graduated from Pahokee high school and went north to stay with cousin Chet and Beula Firkins caring for their children while studying physical education at the University of Illinois. She graduated with a degree in Physical Education. Feeling called to serve her Country when World War II shook our nation, she entered the medical corps and trained as a physical therapist. She received her commission as a Lieutenant. She served in England and then in the first wave of occupation of Germany. She helped many a soldier to regain use of his limbs

damaged in the war. She gained the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged and returning home to Belle Glade.

Encouraged by her father J.O. Jameson to get married, sister Mary who worked at the local soda shop introduced her to Leonard O. Payne a WWII veteran who was an Agronomist at the Belle Glade experiment station. He was also attending the Belle Glade Methodist Church where J.O. Jameson was pastor. After a beautiful courtship of 6 months they married on 25 January 1947 in Belle Glade, Florida.

Ruth practiced her physical therapy for a few years in Sebring, before she and Leonard received teaching positions in Florida city and Homestead. She taught elementary school at various schools in South Florida. During this time Florida began integrating their schools.

Due to her teaching experience and compassionate nature Ruth volunteered to become one of the first white teachers posted to Predominantly black West Homestead Elementary. Despite the challenging environment Ruth persisted and successfully graduated several classes of integrated students who went on to success in higher education And careers. She retired after teaching 20 years in Dade Co school system.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Leonard O. Payne, her son Daniel J. Payne and wife Christine of Concord, North Carolina, her son L. David Payne of Gainesville, Florida, her daughter retired AF Lt. Col. Norma Elizabeth Glaze- Jones of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and her Brother John E. Jameson and wife Sally of Duncansville, Pennsylvania. Her grandchildren are Michael Warren Payne and wife Megan of Nashville, Tennessee, David Edwin Glaze and Dan Beam of Tampa, Florida, Patrick Jameson Payne of Brevard, North Carolina, and Kelly Elizabeth Glaze of Tallahassee, Florida. Ruth Payne is also survived by two great grandchildren, Brecken Andrew and Ryann Kate Payne of Nashville, Tennessee and numerous nephews and nieces. Mrs. Payne was preceded in death by her parents J.O. and Norma Jameson, her son Donald Mark Payne, her sister Elizabeth J. Watts, and her sister Mary J. Cross.

Funeral services for Mrs. Payne will be held on Saturday, August 31st at 3:00pm at Trinity United Methodist Church Chapel, 4000 NW 53rd Ave., Gainesville, with Daniel Payne conducting the service. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at 2pm. Interment will follow at Forest Meadows Memorial Park Central, 4100 NW 39th Ave.

Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Crematory, 725 NW 23rd Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32609 (352) 378-2528. Please sign Ruth's guestbook at

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Forest Meadows Funeral Home and Cemeteries
725 NW 23rd Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32609
(800) 958-2528
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2013
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