Gary L. Payton, 87, of Great Falls, Montana was reunited in God’s kingdom with “His Cille” on November 15th, 2022. He was a devoted husband, joining his wife Lucille only 10 days after she left us.
Gary was born on June 8, 1935 to Walter and Florence Payton. He was the 3rd of 7 children and spent his youth in Glover and Oakes, ND until his family moved to Everett, WA in 1948. Gary graduated from Everett High School in 1953 and shortly after moved to Montana. There, he stayed with his brother, Nolan, and worked various jobs including running grain elevators and working at the Ford Ranch near Belt during haying season. During his time working at the elevator, Gary was introduced to “the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.” He married that beautiful girl, Lucille Bonnet, on December 29th, 1956.
Gary was drafted into the army in the spring of 1958, and after basic training he and Lucille were stationed in Paris, France. Their return to the US took them to Spokane, WA, for a short time where he attended barber school. They returned to Great Falls which became their permanent home, and were blessed with two wonderful children, Michael and Michelle.
Gary held several jobs over the years including working at the Blue Print and Letter Co. However, he is best known for opening and managing The Kitchen where he served the townspeople with home cooked, to-go meals for 14 years the The Kitchen’s 34 years in business. In 2000, Gary retired and handed the business over to Michael who carried on the tradition until March of 2020.
Following retirement, Gary packed his suitcase. Lucille wanted to travel, and he was happy to be along for the ride. Whether driving through the States, cruising, or heading overseas, they enjoyed seeing the world and each other’s company. Lucille was the love of Gary’s life and his greatest joy was to be by her side.
Gary had a love of family. He enjoyed having a house full of people, eating, singing, and playing games. He loved fishing with his best friend, Carl Box, and usually followed that up with a trip to Wendy’s.
Gary is survived by son, Michael, daughter Michelle (Sanna), siblings Verlie (Ray) Lucas and Nickie Evans, as well as many beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Nolan and Loel, sisters Lois and Kalyn, and his beloved wife of 65 years, Lucille.
Services will be held on Saturday, November 19, 11:00 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church – 1326 1st Ave N, Great Falls Montana with a luncheon to follow in the church basement. Memorial funds can be sent to Our Savior’s Lutheran.