After a brief illness, Jay Payne passed away peacefully on July 24, 2022 surrounded by his family.
Jay grew up in Walnut, Illinois. He loved science and loved to play sports. He attended Western Illinois University where he received his Bachelor’s in Biology and decided to become a teacher. He began his career in St. Charles as a biology teacher. He loved working with kids and coaching football, basketball, and track. He finished his career in education at Maine West High School as the Science Department Chair.
He attended North Central College for his Master’s in Educational Administration where he met his wife, Melissa. They were married for 21 wonderful years and had two amazing boys, Cal and Abe. He was always a fierce protector of his family. They recently moved to Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Cal goes to University of Florida and Abe will be attending the University of Alabama, so Jay was hoping to enjoy the warmer weather with them.
Jay was the most loving husband, father, brother, and trusted friend to many. You would always see him at his sons’ sports or at a Chicago sporting event watching a game with his family. He was an avid White Sox, Bears, and Bulls fan. Jay never let any of his physical challenges keep him down. He loved to travel with his family and always felt that making memories was more important than any material items.
When Jay could no longer work, he continued mentoring others that were going through some of the same challenges that he faced. He was a selfless, courageous man who always wanted to help others the best that he could and was an inspiration to many.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him; beloved wife, Melissa; sons, Caleb and Abram; sisters, Joy and husband Dan Hoffman, Jill and husband Bruce Gonigam, Julie and husband Kent Mathew; brother-in-law, Don and wife Ellen Monier; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold (Mick) and Betty Ann Payne; sister, Jan Monier and brother, Jeff Payne.
In true Jay fashion, he wished to have a celebration of life when he passed. One will be planned in the coming months.
If you would like to donate in honor of Jay, the following two organizations have been working to help with research and advocacy for those with ALS: ALS TDI @ als.net; or I AM ALS @ iamals.org.