Kriegshauser Mortuary-West Chapel

9450 Olive Blvd, St. Louis, MO


Betty Jane PAYANT

November 29, 1920January 8, 2020

Betty was born Betty Jane Seiltz on November 29, 1920, in Pulaski, Wisconsin, to Charles and Myrtle Seiltz. She grew up in Iron Mountain, Michigan, where her father worked for the Ford Motor Company. There she met her future husband, Peter Payant, at a game between their rival high schools. They bet on the game, her team lost, and she agreed to go out with him. After that one date, he told his mother he was going to marry that girl, and he did. Betty went to beauty school and opened her own shop in Iron Mountain.

Betty was an only child, but Peter had a sister and five brothers so after marriage she found herself in a large, affectionate, fun-loving family. Peter joined the Army Air Corps and became a bomber pilot, and their only child, Cynthia, was born in December 1943, while Peter was overseas fighting in WWII. Peter became a career Air Force officer, and the couple had a busy, active life, with stations including Florida, England, Texas, (Denver, while Peter was treated for tuberculosis with antibiotics that had only recently been invented), Ohio, Iceland, Virginia, Utah, and finally Hawaii. Everywhere they had many friends and loved to entertain, and Betty enjoyed being the perfect hostess and taking care of everyone. Bridge and golf were favorite pastimes and a big part of their lives, and they loved to dance.

Peter and Betty planned to return to the Wisconsin/Michigan area after retirement, but on the way home from Hawaii they stopped to visit friends in Phoenix and changed their mind about going back to the cold Midwest. They settled in the Phoenix area, eventually buying a home in a new community being built around a golf course. Several other members of the Payant clan also moved to Phoenix, so they were surrounded by both friends and family. They had a large group of friends that regularly took golf vacations together for many years.

Peter passed away in 2006 after a very short illness, and Betty lived independently in their home in Phoenix until 2016 when she joined Cynthia and her husband in St. Louis. There she lived in an assisted living facility, enjoying good health and even driving well into her 90’s. In May 2019 she moved into a Dolan Memory Care home, and she passed away peacefully on January 8, 2020, with her daughter at her bedside.

Betty Payant is survived by her daughter Cynthia Payant (Jim White), her granddaughter Tracy White (Hans Wendland), and two great-grandchildren, Hans and Petra Wendland.


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Betty Jane PAYANT

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Claire Russell

January 14, 2020

I loved my dear Aunt Betty very much and will always miss her smiling face. Betty was a blessing to everyone who knew and loved her. Rest in peace with your darling Peter, Auntie.