Donna Louise Dyer Payton, 81, of Provo, passed away Thursday, December 17, 2020, of COVID. She was born March 4, 1939, in Eugene, Oregon, to LaVeta Pitcher Dyer and Otis Dyer. Donna married C. Charles Payton on September 15, 1962, in Eugene, Oregon.
Having lived in Eugene, Oregon, during her formative years, Donna attended Eugene High School, where she met her first husband, Hugh Brookhart. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Spokane, Washington, where her first two children, Cindy and Kevin, were born. After that marriage dissolved, Donna moved back to Eugene and went to work at a bank while raising her two children on her own. Having returned to her childhood hometown, she was able to re-connect with her best friend from high school who invited her to the Friday evening dance where she met Charles Payton, and it was love at first sight! After their marriage in Eugene, Donna & Charles built their first home together in Tigard, Oregon. Just before they moved in, Donna gave birth to her third child, Lynn. In 1966, after living in their Tigard home for three years, they moved to Provo, Utah.
Donna was an active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and readily accepted a number of callings over the years, including Relief Society President, Ward newsletter editor, visiting teacher, and singing in the choir. Donna also was active in the community with a passion for theater, and directed a number of plays at the Valley Centre Theater (downtown Provo) as well as Valley Center Playhouse (Lindon). As if that didn’t keep her busy enough, Donna, at various times, also held several employment positions as an administrative assistant, including the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, BYU Zoology Department, and the BYU Health Center.
In 1984, Donna and Charles moved to Napa, California, where Charles had accepted new employment with a San Francisco engineering firm. When it came time to move again, Provo is where Donna wanted to be, and they moved into the third home they had built together, this time in the Grandview Hill area, on Donna’s birthday in 2000. Unfortunately, Donna’s health slowly declined, and in 2017, she moved to an assisted living facility in Orem. On December 11, 2020, Donna tested positive for COVID-19 which resulted in her death just six days later.
Donna is remembered by many for her kindness to “strangers” and her love for music and theater. She is survived by her husband, Charles Payton, and her three children, Cindy L. Payton Barlow Booth (Craig), Kevin D. Payton (Norm) and Lynn I. Payton McKissock, as well as six grandchildren, eleven greatgrandchildren, Luke the dog and Coko the cat.
Funeral services will be live streamed on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at 11 a.m. via Facebook Live from Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary.
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