Evelyn Lucille Payne died Thursday, April 26, 2012, in Ignacio. She was 100.
Known as “Chicky,” Mrs. Payne was born Oct. 10, 1911, in Durango, the daughter of Arthur and Dovie Jones. She grew up in the Ignacio area and attended the Lower Spring Creek one-room schoolhouse from first through eighth grades.
Because she lived so far in the country, she later attended the Fort Lewis Boarding High School in Hesperus and then Durango High School. She graduated from DHS in 1929.
Mrs. Payne and her sister moved to Colorado Springs and attended Colorado College for two years, studying education. In 1931, they both returned to the area because the Great Depression hit, and their family home had burned down. Mrs. Payne then began teaching at the Lower Spring Creek School at the age of 19.
In 1935, she met and married Glen Payne. They were “secretly married” in Silverton because schoolteachers at that time were not allowed to be married and, because of the depression, households were only allowed one person to hold a job. So they kept their marriage quiet.
The Paynes eventually moved to Vallecito, where Mr. Payne was employed on the Vallecito Dam project and began to raise their family. Their son, Jackson, was born, and two or three years later, they moved to a ranch south of Ignacio.
In the late 1940s, Mrs. Payne returned to teaching at the Holder School and also started teaching primary school in Ignacio. She stayed home for a few years after her second child, Glenda, was born in 1950 and returned to teaching in 1956. She taught until 1977. Mr. Payne became ill, and Mrs. Payne became his primary caregiver. He passed away in 1981.
While on her ranch, Mrs. Payne enjoyed gardening, cooking (she made the best banana-nut bread and peanut-butter fudge) and being with her beloved family. She was a member of Ignacio Community Church and Delta Kappa Gamma (teachers association). She was a softspoken person and had a fondness for animals, her family said. She took great pride in being able to drive until she was 96 years old, and she traveled throughout the United States and many other countries.
Mrs. Payne was preceded in death by her husband and a grandson, Scott Payne.
She is survived by her daughter, Glenda Hocker, and son, Jackson Payne, both of Ignacio; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous other family members.
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 30, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at Ignacio Community Church. Burial will be afterward at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.