The Gallia County Emancipation Board will honor and dedicate the 2017 Homecoming Reception and Concert in memory of Board Member Jessie May Payne who passed away October 26, 2016. The 2017 Homecoming Reception and Concert will be held Friday, September 15, 2017 at the Ariel-Dater Hall located at 426 Second Avenue, Gallipolis, Ohio beginning at 6:00 pm.

Jessie attended Cadmus High School and after raising her daughters, she attended the University of Rio Grande to study law.

Jessie was a faithful member of Corinth Missionary Baptist Church, where she attended regularly. She always expressed a firm belief in the Lord. Jessie was a Sunday School teacher during the 1950s and '60s and was the Sunday School superintendent at Corinth Church. She was the Girl's Guild leader for Corinth when her daughters were teenagers. She was also the vice-president of the Gallia Sub-District Sunday School and BTU Institute. Jessie had always been the overseer of the church kitchen until she passed that job on to one of the other sisters of the church. Jessie Payne was the deaconess of her church and she always made the unleavened bread for the communion service. She was always ready and willing to be a delegate for the church when needed.

She was a faithful volunteer at Holzer Medical Center from 1973 to August 2016.

Jessie Payne was a well-known pillar of her community as she served and served well on the boards of Gallia County Community Action, Serenity House, the Black History Board, Gallia County Economic Development Association, Emancipation Celebration Committee, NAACP and Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission. She was the minority representative for Gallia County and served as grand marshall of two parades in Gallipolis. Jessie was honored by receiving the Bud and Donna McGhee Community Service Award, an award issued by the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and considered by many to be the highest honor the chamber can bestow.

Jessie was born Oct. 21, 1929. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Deacon Adam H. Payne Jr. (better known to us as Mike); four brothers: Samuel Hutchinson, Harry Hutchinson, George Lincoln Hutchinson and Malachi Hutchinson; and two sisters: Mrs. Oscar (Ruth) Hunt and Mrs. Howard (Naomi) Bivens.

She is survived by her two daughters, Sharon (Roy) Winston, of Cincinnati, and Carolyn (Bill) Casey, of Gallipolis; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. William (Nancy) Curtis, of Maryland; a special niece, Janice Patterson; and three dear cousins, Denver Keels, John Howard and Martha Cosby.