Suddenly on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, Gerry Payne passed away at the age of 87.  She joined her loving husband, John on what would have been their 53rd wedding anniversary.  Loving mother of Mary Liz (Meng Chen), Jack (Jennifer So), Danny, and Brigid (Ken Eliuk).  Cherished grandmother of Meghan, Brandon, Alannah, Joseph, Anje, John, and Jamie.  Predeceased by brother, Jack, and sister, Mary Clare, parents John and Elizabeth Zink.  Gerry was born in Harwich Township and remained a proud farmer’s daughter throughout her life.  She graduated from Brescia College, University of Western Ontario and remained a lifelong member of the Alumnae Association, serving in many capacities, including as President for many years.  She began her teaching career in St. George, Ontario, then moved to Sarnia.  After a brief time in the Ursuline novitiate, Gerry was sent to Windsor, where she met John.  She returned to Sarnia for a year, then married John.  They settled in London and raised their family there.  Gerry returned to teaching in 1976, with a short stint at Mount St. Joseph Academy and finally ended her career at Catholic Central High School where she was a well respected teacher of English and Latin. Gerry and John retired to their cottage outside of Bright’s Grove, Ontario where they became active volunteers in St. Michael’s Parish and in the community.  Special thanks go out to the dear friends and neighbours who provided care, support, and lots of fun during Gerry’s years in Bright’s Grove, to the Red Cross caregivers, Diane and  others who made it possible for Gerry to stay in her beloved lakeside home, to Father Vince Gulikers and Fr. Festus Komolafe, and the previous pastors from St. Michael’s parish along with Deacon Dave Robertson who provided care and support, to the Bright’s Grove and Camlachie emergency response teams and the Bluewater Health Emergency team who provided efficient and compassionate care to Gerry at the end. Family and friends will be received on Friday, September 19, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home, 1576 London Line, Sarnia. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 1920 Wildwood Ave., Bright’s Grove. Interment to follow in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Chatham. Sympathy may be expressed through donations to the Canadian Red Cross or Covenant House (cheques only at the funeral home please).

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Filed Under: London, Ontario, Sarnia