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Surnames: Payne, Erickson, Stock
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AltA Erickson PAynE
POCATELLO - Alta Erickson Payne was born on November 16, 1921, in her grandparent's
house in Fish Haven,
Idaho, on the shores of Bear Lake. Alta was the oldest of five children born to Arnold
Leroy Erickson and Viola Francis Stock Erickson.
She lived in Kemmerer, Wyoming, as a child, but spent most of her young life in Fish
Haven. She attended school in a tworoom schoolhouse that had eight grades in it, and later
attended and graduated from Fielding High School in Paris, Idaho.
Her early memories were of chores on the family farm, working at the Bear Lake Resort
and caring for her younger siblings. She remembered baby-sitting for one of the "lake
families" and how excited she was to earn a quarter at the end of the day. She said
of all the things she did in her childhood, "we did them as a family."
She met John C. Payne at a dance at the lake in 1936. She knew he would be there every
summer, waiting to dance with her. On February 24, 1940, they were married in Soda
Springs, Idaho. Their marriage was solemnized May 25, 1966, in the Logan Temple.
John and Alta lived in a tiny home in Bloomington until their fifth child was born. In
1954, they moved to Paris, where they raised their seven children. After the last child
graduated from high school, the couple moved to Idaho Falls and worked with their son,
Ross, until their retirement in 1984. They moved to Pocatello to spend their retirement
years near most of their children.
After retirement, they traveled extensively. Family was always important, and there
were many backyard barbecues and trips to see "the kids." John preceded her in
death on July 25, 1999.
Alta loved camping and fishing from the time she was a small child, and instilled the
love for the outdoors in all of her children. After retirement, she enjoyed volunteering
at the Pocatello visitor's center and sharing local stories with the travelers that
She went on many trips with her sister, brothers and their wives, and cherished the
bond they had. She was an accomplished artist in photography and oil painting. She carried
on the pioneer traditions of baking, sewing, canning and "creating something
beautiful out of nothing." All of her children and grandchildren cherish quilts and
afghans that she made.
Most of all, she will be remembered for her concern for others. You never left her home
without having a hot meal, some frozen jam made from her home-grown jams,photographs or
something she had made.
Alta was an active member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She was a member of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served in many capacities. Her
favorite calling was as Junior Sunday school coordinator when her children were small. She
also served as a visiting teacher, Primary teacher and Relief Society homemaking leader.
Alta was preceded in death by her husband, parents, one brother, Merlin Erickson, a
son, Ross and a grandson, Andrew.
She is survived by brothers, Eugene (Lois) Erickson and Leland (Renee) Erickson; and a
sister, Wanda Miller; sons, Clifford Payne of Ashton, Idaho, Lloyd (Lenny) Payne of Twin
Falls, Michael (Kris) Payne of Pocatello, and Merrill (Jackie) Payne of Pocatello;
daughtersin-law, Chris Payne of ldaho Falls, and Jeanette Payne of Chubbuck; daughters,
Norma (Val) Palmer of Logan, and Colleen (Clarence) Doran of Blackfoot. She had 28
grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Alta died at her home in Pocatello on July 24, 2007, surrounded by her family, after a
two-year battle with a debilitating illness. She continued to think of others to the end
by not sharing the seriousness of her illness and not wanting anyone to have to take care
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 27, 2007, at 11 a.m. in the Pocatello LDS
26th Ward, corner of Hawthorne and Eldredge Roads. The family will receive friends
Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Cornelison-Henderson Funeral Home and also at the
church on Friday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Burial will be in the Bloomington, Idaho Cemetery
at 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
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