TRAVERSE CITY — A beautiful shinning light, Jennifer Suzanne Payne, age 44, quietly left this world on Sunday, May 25, 2014, at her mother’s home near East Bay in Traverse City. She was born in Detroit on June 11, 1969, and moved to Traverse City with her family in 1973.
She attended St. Francis grade school, Pathfinder School and transferred to Traverse City High School, graduating with honors in 1988. An excellent student and athlete, Jenny was a member of the T.C. High School Track Team and set the record for the 3,200 meter in 1988.
She attended Wake Forest University, moved to Los Angeles and then to Seattle, where she became a massage therapist and studied at the Seattle Institute of Alternative Medicine, where she obtained a master’s degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine. She moved back to Traverse City in 2005 to be closer to her family and established her own business, Pathways Acupuncture.
Jennifer had great compassion and love for her family, extended family and countless friends and acquaintances. She especially loved children and animals. She rescued her constant companion, Pearl, a puppy she found with her dad in East Glacier National Park in 2005.
She wanted to serve others and touched all those who were fortunate enough to know her with her inner beauty and inspiring presence. An amazing healer, Jenny always had time to listen with non-judgement and help those in need.
Jenny was an incredible blessing and gift to her family, her extended family and countless friends and acquaintances. The void she leaves in our lives and in our hearts can never be filled, but her beautiful smile and loving spirit and the many wonderful memories she has given us will live forever in our hearts.
Jennifer is survived by her loving parents, Priscilla McIntyre Payne and Jay and Holly Payne; her sister, Christine Payne Mattern and her children, Madeline and Edward Jay Vander Velde and Lillian Mattern, from Williamsburg; brothers, Gregory J. Payne (Amy) and their children, Emma and Elliot, from Longmont, Colo., and Jonathan M. Payne, of Cedar; and her stepsisters, Amy Bonini (Vasco) and sons, Stewart and Simon, Wendy Schaub (Adam) and daughter, Scarlett. Also surviving are her uncles and aunts, Thomas G. McIntyre (Sheila), of Traverse City, William D. McIntyre (Susan), of Monroe, and David Fix, of Royal Oak.