Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mary Josephine Varnes Payton, 71

| September 24, 2021 7:00 AM

Mary “Mary Jo” Josephine Varnes Payton, 71, passed away Sept. 11, 2021, at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby. She was born April 18, 1950, to Leon and Enid Varnes in Terry before moving to Libby, where she attended school.

She married Thirl Payton on Nov. 29, 1969, and they eventually settled in Noxon. They resided in Noxon for 20 years before moving to Troy in 1995. Mary Jo loved the Lord and was very active in Troy Community Baptist Church.

She is preceded in death by her one true love of 38 years, Thirl Payton, who passed in 2008; mother, Enid (Killem) Attchison; father, Leon Varnes; and sisters Irean Beach and Lois Auge.

Survivors include her brothers, Larry (Donna) Steinmentz of Portland, Ore., Edward Varnes (Donna) of Gillette, Wyo.; daughter, Sandi Sullivan (Scott) of Troy; grandchildren, Sarah Sullivan (Joe Naughton) of Troy and Sean Sullivan of Pullman, Wash.; great-grandchildren, Ryker, Devynn and Dawson Naughton, all of Troy; and her beloved dog, Matti.

A celebration of life will be held April 2022. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at