October 17, 1920 - April 19, 2016


Jean Eleanor Payne Myers, 95, passed away peacefully at her home in Clear Lake on Tuesday morning, April 19, 2016. She was comforted on her last day by family members, friends and deeply appreciated caregivers all who marveled at her cheerful and indomitable spirit right to the end.

Jean was a working woman ahead of her time, starting out as a teacher, then working in insurance and finally running her own auto parts stores in St. Cloud and Elk River. She lived in her home in rural Clear Lake, near Long Lake, since 1961. It is the home she shared with her late husband, Jack, and the animals she loved dogs, cats, and birds. It was here where she enjoyed cooking and tending to her garden. She was an avid reader, taking the newspaper every day to keep up on the news of the world. It kept her wit sharp and made her a great conversationalist throughout her 95 years. She listened and cared for everyone she met.

Jean Eleanor Payne was born Oct. 17, 1920, in Wood Lake, Minn., to Harry and Harriet (Hasse) Payne. She was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church in Wood Lake. She graduated from Wood Lake High School in 1938. She completed her teacher training in 1940 and taught country school for two years. Although her teaching career was brief, she left a legacy to her niece, Joan, who became an elementary teacher. Jean often travelled with her sister Nina, Joan and her two daughters Erica Miller and Emily Gaarder who also work in education. Jean later worked at the Gambles store in St. Cloud for several years.

Jean married Jackson Myers on Jan. 6, 1946, at United Methodist Church in St. Cloud. He had just returned from military service in the Air Force in the Hawaiian Islands. Jack died on March 20, 1977, and Jean ably took over operation of their two Champion Auto stores. She kept the business running until her retirement in 2005 at age 85 a remarkable 34 years at the helm.

Jean was forever thankful to the Storkamp family, especially her former employee Aaron, who, along with his grandmother Evelyn Overman, helped Jean around her home in later years. Jean and Evelyn became fast friends and fish fries became a favorite activity with the Storkamps. Jean also treasured her neighbors, Jane and Elmer Schmitt. It was Jane who sat by Jean’s side in her final hours, a gracious act, Jean’s family appreciates.

Jean was a member of First United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud region for more than 70 years.

She is survived by nieces and nephews Joan (Ron) Gaarder, Barbara Smith, Jim (Elaine) Payne, Jay (Cindy) Payne, Susan (Lee) Jaffe, Leslie (Tom) Kelly, Nancy Jones, Kathy Jones, Neil Jones, Patrick Jones, Julie Simonson and many grandnieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Jackson, sister Nina Simonson, sister Betty Jones, brother Harry Payne Jr.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at First United Methodist Church, St. Cloud Region, 1107 Pinecone Rd. S., Sartell, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services at the church.

Donations to the Tri County Humane Society are preferred in lieu of flowers.