Mary Ruth Miller Payne, age 89, of West Jefferson passed away Monday morning, April 29, 2019 at Margate Health and Rehab Center.

Graveside services will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 3:00pm at Ashelawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery with Rev. Michael Lea and Speak Marc Payne officiating.

Mrs. Payne was born in Alleghany County on July 11, 1929 to the late William Reece and Nettie Profitt Miller. She was a teacher at West Jefferson Elementary School (5th grade) Beaver Creek High School (Home Economics) and Ashe County Career Center (Home Economics). After teaching for 30 years, Mary Ruth retired to take care of her father and brothers in Laurel Springs. She was a member for over 50 years of Eastern Star, Delta Kappa Gama and West Jefferson Women's Club. She was a woman of forward thinking and had strong beliefs in women's rights. Her life was centered around volunteering to help others; education and her family. She was a loving mother, sister and grandmother; she will be missed by all.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Coleman Max Payne on July 20, 2015; four brothers, David Miller, William (Willie) Miller, Kent Miller and Edwin Miller.

Mrs. Payne is survived by: a son, Marc Payne and wife, Pam, of West Jefferson; two brothers, Dr. Gordon Miller and wife, Jean, of Wilkesboro and John Miller and wife, Angelia, of Sparta; a sister, Teresa DeVane and husband, Lindsay, of Charleston, SC; two grandsons, Coleman Payne and Bryson Payne, both of West Jefferson; several nieces and nephews also survive.

The family request no food and flowers. Memorials may be made to: West Jefferson Women's Club Mary Ruth Payne Scholarship Fund, 1400 Mt. Jefferson road, Suite 7 #121, West Jefferson, NC 28694 or Medi Home Hospice, PO Box 421, Jefferson, NC 28640.

The family will be meeting at the home place at 2635 NC Hwy 163 in West Jefferson.

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