George Thomas Payton

Obituary of George Thomas Payton

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George Thomas Payton peacefully departed this life on Saturday, December 30, 2023, at 1:31pm, in Los Angeles, California, surrounded by family. George was born June 23, 1936, the youngest child of loving parents, Essul Payton, Sr., and Molly Young Payton. He was preceded in death by his loving and dedicated wife, Lagatha, parents, twelve siblings, and a son, Donnie. George accepted Christ into his life at an early age at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Mer Rouge, Louisiana. He was educated at St. Matthews Elementary School in Morehouse Parish, Union High School in Mer Rouge, and graduated from Grambling State University. After college, George briefly taught at Morehouse Elementary School. He moved to Los Angeles in 1965 and began a career as a Machinist and then a Foreman at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corporation for more than 30 years until his retirement. George believed in the importance of an education and was instrumental in helping to start Manchester Baptist Elementary School, where he was a Board Member. George met and married the love of his life, Lagatha Marie Ward, on June 6, 1965. God granted to their union a daughter, Chandra Marisa, on March 11, 1970, whom he cherished. A man of deep faith, nothing made George happier than attending church; and he rarely missed first Sundays no matter the circumstance. Always a sharp dresser, he often prepared Saturday evening by pressing his suit, making sure his manicure was right, and studying the Sunday lesson. He was a devoted member of Penuel Baptist Church for nearly fifty years, serving as a Deacon, Usher, and Trustee. He later joined New Bethel Baptist Church and continued as a Deacon. George was a distinguished member of the Masons where he rose to the highest order (33rd-degree). Throughout their years together, George and Lagatha enjoyed Caribbean cruises, vacations to Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada, and birthday dinners with longtime friends from home, the Carsons, and the Fords. Many will fondly remember George’s insistence on a cup of coffee (with lots of cream and sugar) whenever he visited family, and his specialty vegetable soup, his love of pork chops, and fish on Fridays. He would often show up with a bucket of KFC with all the fixing for his great-great-nephew. George was a jazz enthusiast, enjoyed watching old Westerns, and in later years, he enjoyed lounging in his backyard watching the birds and napping. If anyone had a problem and asked for advice, George always had a positive word and would say, ‘Is there anything you can do about it?’ If the answer were no, he’d tell them to, ‘Leave it alone and stay on the good foot’. He was loved by his family and known by many names, ‘Buddy’, ‘Unc’, ‘Papa’, and Tot’ Frog. After a brief illness, George declared, ‘If the Lord says it is my time, I’m ready.’ He is now at peace and reunited with his sweetheart, Lagatha, parents, twelve siblings, and son who have all surely welcomed him home. We will miss Unc’s jokes, bragging, and wonderful sense of humor. George leaves to cherish his memory: Sister-in-laws Patricia Tharps, Helen Donaldson, Brenda Lee, brothers-in-law, Anthony Ward, Robert (Patricia) Ward, and James Ward. Children Belvelyn Combs, Bastrop, LA, Sharon Ann George, Pearland, TX, LaTora Dowles, Bastrop, LA, Chandra Payton Williams (Patrick) Garland, TX, and Goddaughter Demetria Branscomb Coleman, Rosenberg, Texas. Grandchildren: Tarrus Williams, Amanda Wade, Albert Wade II, Tacorya (Christopher) Francois, Jasmine Dowles, Shamika (Jermaine) Wiggins, Christopher Khatri, Charles Butler, Corey Butler, Courtney Butler, Cyndi Butler, Payton Williams, Paige Williams, and nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services for Mr. Payton are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, January 20, 2024 at the Chapel of Golden Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Jerusalem Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, January 19, 2024 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Golden Funeral Home, Bastrop, LA.
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