Yerda Ruth Mason Payne 


Yerda Ruth Mason Payne

Yerda Ruth Mason Payne was born on July 16, 1936, in Blackfoot, Idaho, to Florence Hinckley Hoopes Mason and Herbert Spencer Mason.  

She passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family on April 19, 2024, after a steady decline in her health. 

She is preceded in death by her parents and all three of her siblings. 

Yerda graduated from Blackfoot High School in Idaho and went on to attend Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a BA in business education in 1958. She taught business classes in Peoria, Ariz., as well as at Sandia High School in Albuquerque for one year each, and later was a bookkeeper in Santa Fe when her children were older. 

Yerda married Harry Vern Payne in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 26, 1959, beginning a wonderful love story that has lasted for 65 years. 

Yerda accepted the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that motherhood was “the highest, holiest service … assumed by mankind” and chose that ennobling, magnificent role rather than pursuing a career.  

She was the mother of eight children, Julie Smith (Allen) of Los Lunas, Bruce Payne (Bridget) of Springville, Utah, Herbert Payne (Irma), of Los Lunas, Curtis Payne (Dodie), of Albuquerque, Daniel Payne (Rochell), of Albuquerque, Caroline McNeil (Marlin), of Albuquerque, Thomas Payne (Scharese), of Riverton, Utah, and Sarah Dawn Payne, of Los Lunas,. They have 33 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren for a posterity of more than 70 descendants — and growing. 

Yerda was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints her whole life. She served in many teaching and leadership positions. With her husband, Vern, and daughter, Sarah, she served a volunteer mission of three years in the Canary Islands of Spain, supervising 17 congregations and more than 300 young volunteer missionaries teaching of Jesus Christ. She loved Spain and those she served!  

She also served three years directing volunteers in the Albuquerque Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated to “Holiness to the Lord.” (2012-15) 

More than any of her accomplishments, Yerda was most happy as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She strove to show love and keep track of all their birthdays, activities and important events. 

Yerda will be missed for her patience, her sweet spirit, her kind heart, her Christ-like attitude, her beautiful smile and her willingness to serve even when it was uncomfortable for her to be in the limelight. She will be most missed for the love she showed for all around her, especially her family. She was the epitome of the characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22-23. 

Services will be held on Friday, April 26, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Los Lunas Stake Center, 160 James St, NW, Los Lunas. The viewing will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in the Payne Family Cemetery, west of Los Lunas. 

An online guest register is available at 

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