Alyne Payton, mother of the late, great Jackson State and Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton has died, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame director Rick Cleveland reported today.
Mrs. Payton endured the early deaths of husband to an aneurysm in 1978 and Walter (to liver disease) in 1999. Through it all, she carried herself with grace and dignity. She was known for her kindness, her faith and for her remarkable, down home cooking skills.
Judy Meredith, a JSU professor and wife of activist James Meredith, posted the following tribute on her Facebook page.
We were neighbors and used to chat in our yards. I remember asking her once “when did you know Walter was a such a gifted athelete.” Obviously she had to know before anyone else. She told me…”I knew when he was just a baby. Parents can see what their gifts are when they’re young. You just have to start cultivating their talents at an early age.” Mrs. Payton has other children too who are gifted. Eddie is now the golf coach at Jackson State. And of course, he has been remarkably successful with that. What a lady!!! Alyne Payton, R.I.P
Payton was 87. Funeral arrangements were incomplete on Tuesday.