PAYNEWAY - After ninety-six years Mary Jane Payne went home to be with Jesus on October 25, 2017. She was born April 27, 1921 to Henritta and Albert Eller.
Mary Jane was born and raised in Earle, Arkansas. Growing up she remembers how she used to polish her brother’s shoes and iron for him so when he picked her up from school he would let her drive home. She started driving when she was just 12 years old. She graduated from Earle High School and married her husband Bob a year later in 1940. They moved to Tupelo, Mississippi and soon he was drafted into the service. She had two children in Tupelo and stayed there until Bob got out of the service. They then moved to Payneway, Arkansas where she spent most of her life. She had two more children before she went to Beauty School. She started her own beauty shop in Payneway and kept it until the birth of her last child. Bob worked as a book keeper and on the family farm. Mary Jane was at his side working on the farm driving her “Big Red Truck” hauling beans, rice and cotton. She hauled her kids to school events, sporting events, church events and etc. She was a leader for 4-H and President of her local Home Demonstration Club.
She was a true matriarch of the family, beautiful, kind, witty and a most generous and caring individual. She was always putting others first and was the first person to jump in if she saw a need. Mary Jane loved to cook anything and everything. She was known for her famous fried chicken, coconut cake and baked raccoon. She was very active in two churches, Centerview Church of Payneway and First Methodist Church of Marked Tree. Whenever there was a big dinner Mary Jane was always there helping out in the kitchen.
For the last six years of her life she lived at Brookfield Assisted Living in Bella Vista, Arkansas. She was loved by the staff and affectionately called “Granny Grump” which she named herself. She was also known to others as Mama, Grandma, GG and Grandma Mary Jane.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 52 years, W.R. (Bob) Payne, Jr.; two sons, W.R. Payne III and William Neal (Bill) Payne.
Survivors include three children, Sara Payne Hoyt, Albert Alan Payne (Linda Sparks Payne) and Robert Jeffery Payne; seven grandchildren, Karen Malick, Amanda Payne Humphreys, Dani Straub, Holly Ludwick, Audrey Darnell, Emily Fonseca and Joey Payne; nineteen great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM at The First Methodist Church of Marked Tree followed by a brief service. Burial will take place at Marked Tree Cemetery.
Memorials may be sent to First Methodist Church in Marked Tree, Arkansas, 304 Frisco St, Marked Tree, AR 72365 and Circle of Life Hospice, 1201 NE Legacy Pkwy, Bentonville, AR 72712.
Online guestbook available at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com