Lydia “Cecile” Belle Payne, 96, widow of James “Jay” Robert Payne, Sr., entered peacefully into glory on April 30, 2021. Born November 21, 1924, in Lamar, SC, she was the daughter of the late Connie Glenn Belle and Addie Estelle Smith. Cecile was the 11th of 15 children and the last surviving sibling. She moved to Columbia at an early age, where she spent her later childhood years at Epworth Children’s Home. She was a graduate of Olympia High School in Columbia, SC.

Cecile was a 33 year Southern Bell Retiree, where she worked as a Telephone Operator, Administrative Assistant, and designed telecommunications circuits for the Engineering Department. She spent her early retirement years caring for her husband Jay and after his death, continued to serve in her church. She and her husband were founding members of Park View Baptist Church, where she was an active member in the choir and served with youth and church leadership. She called Pontiac First Baptist Church, of which she was also a founding member, her home church and was active there until her late 80’s.

Cecile was a true southern lady, who demonstrated the principals of Proverbs 31 and the love of Jesus throughout her life. She was a brilliant seamstress, nurse, hairdresser and created some of the most wonderful meals and desserts for anyone who would come; her door was always open. She was one of the most caring, kind-hearted people you could ever want to meet. She never knew a stranger, giving to anyone in need, regardless of her own financial situation, and gave God the recognition for any act of kindness she was able to give. She lived her life as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Surviving are her sons, James Robert Payne, Jr. (Joan) of Ravenel, Jon Randall Payne (Sherry) of Elgin; daughter, Rhonda Jeannine Payne Hill of Sumter; 15 grandchildren; and 47 great grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Janice Faye Payne.

The funeral service for Mrs. Payne will be held 4:30 o’clock, Sunday, May 2nd at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, 7600 Trenholm Road Ext., Columbia, SC, with Pastor Bob Moore officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the funeral service at the funeral home beginning at 3:30 o’clock.

Interment will be held 10 o’clock Monday, May 3rd at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 7100 Garners Ferry Rd., Columbia, SC.

For those unable to attend, a livestream of the service will be available on Mrs. Payne’s tribute page at All are invited to attend; however, masks and social distancing are required to create a safe environment for all.

The family wishes to express a heartfelt “thank you” to Gwen Llewellyn for being there on so many occasions for our mom. The family also wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Tonya and Georgia of Amedisys Sumter and the staff at The Gardens of Sumter for the kind and loving care given our mother during her stay with you. Your constant quality care allowed us to spend time with her, especially during her last days on earth.

In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to Epworth Children’s Home of Columbia, 2900 Millwood Ave., Columbia, SC 29205

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.