Alice Eileen Payton went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 5, 2014. She was born Alice Eileen Wurster on Feb. 28, 1928 in Creston, Iowa. She was raised on the family farm in the Lenox, Iowa area, and attended school in Lenox, graduating in 1945.
Following high school, Alice received normal training to obtain her teacherâ€™s certificate. She taught grades Kindergarten through eighth grade at Grove Center and Grove Center #5 schools in the Lenox area for several years. She rode her horse four to five miles to school each day, carrying her books in saddlebags. Her teaching days ended when she married Samuel Lloyd Payton on Feb. 19, 1950. The couple soon moved to Washington State, living first in the Moses Lake area and then near Northport. They moved to Blue Creek in 1961, where they lived for many years and raised their four children on a dairy farm. Alice grew a large garden every year and taught her daughters to sew for 4-H projects. In December 1966, Alice read an article in a Christian newspaÂ¬per, The Sword of the Lord. Through that article, she came to reÂ¬ceive Jesus Christ as her personal savior. From then on, the foÂ¬cus of her life changed. The family began attending the First Baptist Church in Colville.
Eventually, Sam and Alice and several other families worked toÂ¬gether to establish a new church in Chewelah, now known as Chewelah Baptist Church. Alice served faithfully in church for the rest of her life. She was the pianist for many years, directing cantatas at Christmas and Easter. She taught Sunday school, organized puppet shows for Vacation Bible School, and particiÂ¬pated in ministry to the residents of the Chewelah Manor. Alice loved to travel and enjoyed vacations into British ColumÂ¬bia with her family and friends when the kids were growing up. She loved to play the piano, and her children remember coming home to visit and being lulled to sleep to the sound of her playÂ¬ing. She instilled the love of growing things in her children with her beautiful vegetable gardens and large displays of roses, glads and irises. Alice was preceded in death by her sister, June Travis, in 2002, and by her husband, Sam, in 2004. Alice is survived by her brother, Ron Wurster; sister-in-law, Donna Brumfield; children, Debbie Bayer, Bonnie Dixon, Jeanne Fussell and Mike Payton; son-in-law, Gary Fussell, former son-in-law, Randy Dixon, former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Payton; grandchildren Jamie Dixon, Stacie Rodriguez, Ashley Brown, Dallas Fussell, and Nicholas Payton; great-grandchildren, Madalynn and Leland Turner, Mia, Dru and Destinee StansÂ¬berry; nieces Susan Travis, Linda Benson and Vickie Babinet; nephews Phillip Glass and Marion Travis. Aliceâ€™s children especially would like to thank their cousin, SuÂ¬san Travis, for her kind and loving care of Alice these past few years. That enabled her to stay in her home much longer than would have otherwise been possible.