Obituaries — Oct. 10, 2023

Joyce Payne

Joyce Payne

Oct. 21, 1936, to Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, Joyce Burke Payne of Keystone Heights was born in Jacksonville to Homer and Lillian Burke. She grew up in Jacksonville attending Duval County schools. She was the next to the last child of 12. During her childhood, a neighbor took her and her sisters to church. She walked the church aisle to get her name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. After becoming a wife, mother, and grandmother, she realized that the childhood decision had not included repentance and turning from her sin. She faithfully shared her testimony with anyone who would listen — that she had been a lost church member up to that point. She repented of her sin and asked Jesus Christ to be her Savior and Lord, receiving the peace and assurance that her name was NOW written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Over her lifetime, she was a member of Baptist churches in Jacksonville; locally, First Baptist Church of Keystone Heights, Hope Baptist Church, and a charter member of Freedom Baptist Church. She met and married the love of her life, George Payne, in 1953. Their first date was to a gospel sing on Aug. 26 and they married just a short while later at the home of her parents. They moved to Lake Geneva in 1958. She was a dedicated homemaker all her adult life and a Clay County school bus driver for 21 years. She was dedicated to her husband and loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She also loved music, especially southern gospel, and the old hymns. She was a wonderful cook and baker. Cakes, pies, baby-back ribs…. anything that cooks in the oven. She was most famous for her chicken-n-dumplings, Missouri cookies and lemon squares. She also liked to spend time at their mountain home and to sew and quilt. She battled cancer for 3.5 years. The family knew she would have a good day if she was up early working in the kitchen, cooking or baking. Her freezer would be full of sweet treats for husband George and anyone who came to visit. She would ask family, caregivers, and visitors to sing the old hymns and to pray for her before leaving. One of her last requests of the Lord was for her to be an encouragement to others. She was preceded in death by her parents; 10 siblings; and grandson, Timothy Edwards.

She is survived by her husband, George, of 70 years; daughters, Angie (Kenny) Church, Kathy (Larry) Edwards; and son, George (Angie) Jr.; grandchildren, Lana Tran, Kara Jones, Curtis Edwards, Savannah Payne, Micah Tyler Payne, and Hannah Payne; great- grandchildren, Gillian Edwards, Maura Tran, Ben Tran, Ayden Jones, Alice Edwards, Brooke Edwards, Kael Edwards, Granger Payne, Noah Edwards, and Maycee Payne; sister, Lillian Michael; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 9, at Lake Swan Graham Chapel with Pastor Shawn House officiating. Interment was at Hope Baptist Church Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be made to Haven Hospice, Palatka, or Lake Swan Camp, Melrose.

Arrangements were under the care of Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home, 340 E. Walker Drive, Keystone Heights, 32656. 352- 473-3176.