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Ethel Payne

Ethel Payne was born at Watonga, Oklahoma to Marion and Anna (Spaeth) Payne on February 21, 1920 and died Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at the age of 102.

She attended grade school in Watonga and high school at St. Joseph Academy, Guthrie, Oklahoma and was valedictorian in the eighth and twelfth grades.

Upon graduating from St. Anthony School of Nursing, Okla. City she was awarded a scholarship to attend The St. Mary College, Leavenworth, KS where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing education. She graduated from St. Mary’s School of Anesthesia, Duluth, MN.

During World War II she served as an officer in the Army Nurse Corps and saw duty stateside and at the 117th General Hospital in Linz, Austria.

As a free-lance anesthetist she practiced in the Lake Texoma area providing full coverage for two hospitals in Denison, TX, and worked occasionally in other nearby hospitals in Sherman, TX, Durant, OK, and Perrin Air Force Base.

Retirement years were spent in Watonga. Later she moved to St. Katharine’s Retirement Center in El Reno, Oklahoma where she was living at the time of her death.

She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers: Arthur, Earl, and Robert Payne and one sister Mary Baisch. She is survived by one nephew, William Payne and one niece Sharon Payne Griffin.

Viewing for Ethel Payne will be Sunday from 1-3p.m. at Wilkinson Mortuary. Graveside services for Ethel will be held Monday, January 16, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Watonga, Oklahoma with Chaplain Cord Fowler officiating and Wilkinson Mortuary in charge of arrangements.


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