Josephine Lee Russo Payne, 70, of Dayton, passed away Tuesday, August 27, 2019 in Humble, Texas. Jo was born May 30, 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama to parents Pete Russo and Nell Virginia Knighton Russo.
A mass of Christian burial will be 9:00 a.m., Saturday, August 31, 2019 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Dayton. Interment will follow at Linney Cemetery. The family will receive friends 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Friday evening at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. A rosary will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at Pace-Stancil. Serving as pallbearers will be Drake Bennett, Luke Bennett, Grayson Ressler, Matthew Payne, Steven Payne and Chloe Lahti. Honorary pallbearers will be Freddy Knighton and Mike Bush.
Josephine grew up in Houston where her family owned Russo’s Food Market on Market and Lathrop in Denver Harbor and she worked there knowing everyone in her community. She went to Resurrection Catholic School through the 8th grade and graduated from Incarnate Word Academy in 1967.
She was working for Southwestern Bell Phone Company when she met Bobby Payne in 1969. They dated and married after eight weeks. They were married for 49 years. In 1977, she and Bobby moved back to Dayton. Jo worked for the DISD, Walmart, and the Texas State Dept. of Corrections. She retired from the State in 2007. Jo lived for her family at that point. She was a member of St Joseph’s Catholic Church for 42 years. Jo was loved by all that knew her, her generous hugs and laughter.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Pete and Nell Russo; her in-laws, Herman and Muriel Payne and, Gary “Buzz” Payne, Pat and Roy Cantrell. She is survived by her husband, Bobby Harold Payne; her children, Bobbie Jo Payne Bennett and husband Mark, Ben Payne and wife Sherry, Regina Payne Ressler and husband Randy, and Shanna Payne Lahti and husband David; her grandchildren, Drake Bennett, Luke Bennett, Grayson Ressler, Matthew Payne, Steven Payne and Chloe Lahti; her siblings, Ginger Mosley and husband Jesse, Bill Russo and wife Melissa; her brother-in-law, Sherman Payne and wife Linda; sisters-in-law, Susie Payne, Scharlene Prazak and husband Johnny, Barbara Watson and husband Buck; numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, other relatives and many friends.
For those who desire memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, https://www.stjude.org/donate
A Letter From Jo’s Children
Our mother was loved by so many people. She was sweet and kind and the prettiest woman our Dad ever knew. Our mom loved to plan a party. She was the kind of lady that paid attention to detail. Etiquette was important to her. Our mom was the mom that put out fancy towels in the bathroom then told us not to use them because they were for company to see. She taught us to be polite, insisted that we were well-behaved, and never let us wear white after Labor Day. She took us to church every weekend. She made sure we were covered in the blood of Jesus. She could sew, crochet, loved to put together a good puzzle, and tried her best to figure out email and her cell phone. She was definitely electronically challenged. Sometimes we think that she had a smart phone just so she could get help from the grandkids. She would often call them and say she meant to call someone else. But we knew she really wanted to talk to them. Our mother loved Elvis Presley, John Wayne, and Keith Whitley. She was a great cook and fed us three meals a day growing up. And if you were at her house, she was always trying to feed you. She loved sweets and anything loaded with carbs. She loved long rides and picnics. She hugged nearly everyone she saw in town and if she knew you, she included you in her prayers. She loved family get-togethers. She loved to decorate for holidays and she really loved to shop. Our mom worried about us all the time. We had to call her after leaving her house so she knew we got home. Every time the fire whistle went off in town, she called every one of us to make sure we were alright. She was nosy with us about what we did, feeling certain that we would not mess up if it meant her finding out. Our mother loved to read, and would read a book of the Bible after every book she read for herself. She always smelled good. She always made sure to dress up. She loved to see, hug, and kiss her grandchildren. She told them every time she saw them that she loved them more than anything in the world. She spent a lot of time teaching them life lessons, how to be little gentlemen and a lady. She taught them true southern hospitality. Our mother loved our daddy with every ounce of her being. When we were young and he worked overseas, every day she would stay up for hours writing him page after page telling him every second of our day so he didn’t miss anything. She loved to dance with our Daddy. She loved it when he grew a beard. She loved to hold his hand. She loved his entire family and she loved her sister and brother more than she could express. Our mom desperately missed her own parents very much. Our mother is the home from which we came from, our first love, and the map for which we will follow for every step we will take. And we are forever grateful she was our mother. —Bobbie Jo, Ben, Shanna, and Regina
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