Beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and matriarch, Sarah Margaret Mullendore Payne went home to be with the Lord August 5, 2012 at the age of 96. Born in Greenwood, Missouri, just outside Kansas City, to George Decatur and Sarah Blanch (McVay) Mullendore. She was the fourth of five children; siblings included George, Maurice, Paul, and Eliza Bernice.
Sarah spent her early years moving around Missouri, as her father was a pastor for several different churches. In the summer of 1925, her father was encouraged by a preacher friend to move to The Deep South. So, in the summer of 1925, the family moved to Mississippi where Sarah graduated from high school in 1933 in Louisville, Mississippi.
While in junior college, Sarah took her first teaching job near Jackson, Mississippi earning $75 per month. In 1938, Sarah graduated from Mississippi State College. She earned her Masters in Education Degree from Mississippi Southern University in 1959.
She married Carl Franklin Hamby Payne in August 1940. Their sons, Carl Howard and George Calvin, were born in 1943 and 1944, respectively. Sarah’s husband, Carl, joined the Army in 1944 and was shipped to England. After returning home, he was discharged from the Army in November 1945.
In the summer of 1955, Sarah and family left McCall Creek, Mississippi and moved to Prairie City, Oregon. In 1957, the family again moved to Wrangell, Alaska by traveling the dusty Alaska Alcan Highway. Sarah and Carl taught school there for three years. Finally, in the summer of 1961, the family moved to Sweet Home where Sarah taught English at Sweet Home High School until her retirement in 1981. Even though retired, she continued volunteering as a teaching assistant in Sweet Home and Salem. All total, she was associated with the public school system for over 60 years.
Sarah was active in P.E.O., her church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school, and serving in various church, community, and charity organizations. Until failing health, she continued to be active in these organizations.
She loved to read, sew, and spend time with her family and friends. She especially enjoyed taking her grandchildren and family members on extended trips in the United States and to Europe. Of all her trips, the most memorable was her visit to The Holy Land.
Sarah was one of the most loving and tender women that most will ever meet. She never judged others, loved them openly, and would always welcome them into her home.
Sarah was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Franklin, in 1968. She is survived by: her sons, Carl (and his wife, Patty) Payne of Portland and George (and his wife, Helga) Payne of Salem; grandchildren, Chris, Jason, Kristina, Tiffany, Thad, James, Tara, and Tyler; great-grandchildren, Sarah Michelle, Brianna, Austin, Josh, Dakota, Katy, Megan, Kelsey, Zachary, Taylor, Lindzee, Britney, Jack, Bethany, Kyle, Kaden, and John.
Donations and contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society.
A viewing will be held from 10:00 a.m., to 12:00, noon, Friday, August 10, 2012 at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.
Funeral service will take place at 1:00 p.m., Friday, August 10, 2012 at Sweet Home United Methodist Church. Final burial will follow at Gilliland Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.