Iola Ward Payne was born Iola Waters on November 16, 1935 to the loving parents of Andrew Jackson and Elma Ruth Waters in Carrollton Mississippi. Iola was the second of seven children that included five girls and two boys. Everyone in the Waters family came to know Christ and early age and Iola was baptized at Helm Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church where her mother served on the stewardess board.
Iola attended Pleasant Ridge Elementary School and graduated from Summerfield High School in 1953 Iola attended college for two years at Mississippi Valley State College in Itta Bena, MS. Iola moved to Indianapolis where she had family members. She was in early twenties and worked as a governess. In the late 1950s Iola had moved to Chicago where she had more family members most notably her mother’s brother Uncle Jacob Cain, where she resided. Her older sister Laverne and younger sisters Carol & Doris were not far away in Indianapolis, IN.
Iola’s first husband Charles Ward went to school in a neighboring town. Fate brought them together and they met at a party being held by mutual family friends in Chicago. They were married in 1959. From that Union they had two children Keith and Karen.
Iola later met Cleveland Payne who had just returned from serving in the Army. They met on a blind date. They married in October 1962 and from that Union two children were born Kevin and Ku’ana.
Iola and Cleveland moved the family to Portland Oregon in 1968. One of Iola’s first of many jobs was a Teacher Assistant at St Martins Day nursery. While being a mother herself, and a wife. Iola enjoyed cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, planning events that her family could attend or planning events for her family that they all participated in such as Thanksgiving celebrations, and Christmas parties and special events and birthdays. Iola was successful in several home based businesses,Tupperware and Home Interior are the most known. Iola also worked as a Security Guard for one of the first Black owned security companies in Portland. Iola also had various other jobs, she worked at Techtronix, until she became partially disabled. Iola retired, then started doing what she loved best which was cooking…One of the most rewarding jobs she said she ever had was being the cook for the Priests at St Andrew’s Catholic church. Iola had many talents and gifts. She was always taking photos, the family photographer is just one of the many things she will be remembered for. Iola never met a stranger, and she shared all that she had with everyone. Iola was a Community activist, by nature. She was always involved and/interested in, how she could make a positive difference, and always encouraged others to do the same.
Iola is preceded in death by Cleveland Payne, her parents, Andrew and Elma Waters; sisters, Laverne Clarke, Doris Evans Carolyn Robinson; & Ruth Swims & brother, Andrew Waters II
Iola Ward Payne leaves to cherish her memory: Some very dear friends Lila Sanders Price, of Portland Oregon and June Walker, of Joliet IL, a Brother Otis W. Waters and Sister in Law Patricia Waters, of Portland Oregon, daughter, Karen Ward of Las Vegas, NV and sons Keith Ward of Austin TX Kevin Payne of Vancouver WA Barry Ward of Coolidge, AZ Daughter in Laws Candy Payne of Vancouver WA, and Teresa Hardy Ward of Austin TX.
Grandchildren; Micaela Payne, Alvin Broussard, Corey Crane, Christopher & Deblinda Lindsey, Gregory Crittenden, Sheena & Jodi Frazier III
Great grandchildren: Harley Ward, Shekinah, Jazzmin, Tajanae, Trevion, Elajah, Corde Camora, Bettyjae, Cassius, Kailyn Shaudi, Christopher Jr. Valyntina Armoni, Jah’leel, Celandria, Nazariah, Jodie IV, Tere’lee, Seaven, Mi’Yah Nheena, Jasher, great great grandchildren: Saryiah, Reshawn, Saniyah, Kionta Kayce, K’Anna, and Blu.
In addition, a host of Special nieces & nephews and play daughters Arnette Walker and Letitia Foster Cobb.
We thank you Iola for everything you were for all that you gave and may you now and forever rest in peace with the certain knowledge that you were and always will be dearly loved and terribly missed.