Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary

1702 Fairhaven Avenue, Santa Ana, CA


Jo Anne Payton

December 19, 1944June 20, 2020

Jo Anne Payton, age 75, of Anaheim, California, passed away June 20, 2020 from Alzheimer’s disease. The daughter of Joe and Jean Parsons, Jo was born December 19, 1944 in Fullerton, CA and grew up in the city of Orange. She graduated from Orange High School in 1962, California State University, San Jose in 1966 and earned her teaching credential from University of California, Irvine in 1974. While at San Jose she met Larry Payton, her husband of 53 years. Jo and Larry moved to Irvine, CA in 1970 where they raised their two children. She spent her entire 31+ year teaching career at El Camino Real Elementary School in Irvine where she taught first and third grade, and was once honored as an Irvine Unified School District “Teacher of the Year”.

Jo didn’t set out to change the world, but she did through those she taught. She is remembered as a teacher, mentor teacher and parent who set high standards, gave new meaning to the words “organization and planning”, modeled what she taught, ensured that kids believed in themselves and made sure they knew she believed in them as well. Her unwavering belief in children helped them learn to challenge themselves, and accomplish their goals no matter how big or small. Jo’s many lessons helped build the foundation for success of countless students who passed through her classroom over the years.

Jo was also a dedicated wife and mother, who loved to read, sit in the sun and spend time with those she treasured most. She learned to enjoy softball and football, and was a passionate parent at her own kids’ sporting events during their youth. She loved the beach and often vacationed in San Diego and Hawaii with her husband. The title grandmother was a source of great pride and joy. Jo is survived by husband Larry, daughter Leslie, son Michael, 6 grandchildren (Kate, Tyler, Elizabeth, Lauren, Josh and Travis) and her brother Ralph.

Jo was a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor and teacher but most of all, she was an inspiration and a gift to those who were lucky enough to have had her in their lives. She will forever be loved and remembered by her family and friends.


  • Graveside Service

    Monday, July 6, 2020


Jo Anne Payton

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