Stella Gill


Stella Virginia Watkins Payne Gill was born December 29, 1930 at Micola, Missouri.  She was the daughter of Bayard Schindel Watkins and Pearl Camp Watkins.

She departed this life at the St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee on December 21, 2017.  She was 86 years old.

On November 11, 1948 she was united in marriage to Frank Howard “Hap” Payne.  They were the proud parents of three daughters. 

Hap was a preacher and Stella loved being the preacher’s wife.  She ministered along with him to all of the congregation and the community.  She loved “making a joyful noise” to the Lord although some thought her singing wasn’t very good.

Stella was always a very busy lady.  She loved life, loved laughing, and loved friends and especially family.  She was a wonderful “Gee Gee” to grandkids and great grandkids.  She could be found almost every day at the Caruthersville Nutrition Site eating and visiting with friends.  She also led an exercise group twice a week.

Survived by – 3 daughters – Sherry Hays and her husband, Larry – Caruthersville, MO

Sheila Smith and her husband, David – Kennett, MO

Shelly Main and her husband, Jeff – Evansville, IN

1 sister – Ida Criswell – Haines City, Florida

1 half sister – Betty Kathleen Deweese

1 brother – Alvin Watkins – Henderson, TN

2 half brothers – Danny Michael Watkins, Bayard Shendell Watkins

5 grandchildren – Jerry Don Hays, Tonya Gunnels, Stacy McNew, Kristen Mojica, Nic Main

7 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bayard and Pearl Watkins, husband “Hap” Payne, her second husband, Roy Gill, her brothers, Charlie Watkins, Bayard Watkins, Jr., Billy Watkins, Ralph Watkins, and a sister Donna Kay, and a half brother, John Albert Watkins

Funeral services were held Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 at the Temple Baptist Church with Brother Jim Pilcher officiating.  Interment followed in Maple Cemetery. 

Pall bearers:  Christian Gunnels, Brian Gunnels, Nic Main, Jerry Don Hays, Charlie Jones, Tommy Halford, Jeff Hudgens, Daimon McNew, Drake McNew.

H.S. Smith Funeral Home in charge of services.


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If you'd like to speak to us directly, call free 24 hours a day.

H S Smith Funeral Home