Edna I. Payne Sickels, 94, of Mount Ayr, Iowa, passed away peacefully on January 6, 2011 at the Clearview Nursing Home. She was born on March 3, 1916 in Tingley, Iowa the sixth child of the nine children born to Fletcher and Rose Ray Matthews. Her strong belief in the Christian faith was instilled in her as a young girl at her mother’s knee listening to inspirational Bible stories and verses. Edna graduated from the Delphos high school in 1934. She was baptized at the First Christian Church in Delphos, Iowa. Upon moving to Mount Ayr, she transferred her membership to the Baptist church and then in 1945 she transferred to the First Christian Church where she remained a member for over 65 years at the time of her death. Edna was a tireless church volunteer and known for her delicious specialty of homemade macaroni and cheese.
On April 10, 1935, she married Troy Sarield Payne in Grant City, Missouri. They were married for 43 years until Troy’s death on September 22, 1978. Two daughters were born to this union, Sharon Sue Pickens of Iowa City, Iowa and Brenda Lea McDaniel of Dousman, Wisconsin. Their greatest interest in life centered on their daughters and grandchildren. Edna’s large family spent a lot of fun times together, playing games, making bonfires and enjoying delicious homemade meals. In 1945, Troy and Edna joined the family business, Payne Freight Lines, until Troy’s retirement in 1968.
In 1958, Edna joined her sister’s business, the local Dairy Sweet, and worked there for many years. In April 1970, she began her career as a telephone operator with GTE (now Verizon) where she worked 13 years before her retirement in 1983. In her spare time, she enjoyed crafts, ceramics, gardening, growing plants and flowers both inside and out. She had a green thumb and could make any plant grow and flourish. Edna had a love of angels and had an extensive collection, as well as ceramic and porcelain collectible dolls, which were displayed throughout her home.
In 1979, Edna sold her home at 600 W. Columbus and moved into her new home on West Street. She lived happily there for 21 years.
On July 24, 1983, Edna married Deane Sickels. If you had driven by their house, you might have seen their kitchen table moved out of the way and Edna teaching Deane to dance. They had four and one-half years together of traveling and dancing until Deane’s death on December 15, 1987.
At the age of 84, Edna moved into the newly built Clearview Estates on November 25, 2000. She was a resident of the Clearview Estates for five years until moving to the Clearview Nursing Home on July 26, 2005 where she remained until her death.
Edna is survived by her two daughters and son-in-law, Sharon Pickens of Iowa City, Iowa and Brenda (David) McDaniel of Dousman, Wisconsin; four grandchildren, Kris Pickens, Eric (Catherine) McDaniel, Scott McDaniel and Teresa McDaniel; three great-grandchildren, Jacob, Lexi and Carter Pickens; sister, Francis Geneva (Neva) Fisher of Mount Ayr, Iowa, as well as numerous other nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her two husbands, Troy Payne and Deane Sickels; three sisters; four brothers; her son-in-law, Kenneth Pickens, and her grandson, Kent Pickens.
A memorial fund has been established to the First Christian Church and Hospice of Central Iowa.
Funeral services were held at the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr on Monday, January 10, 2011, with Rev. Chris Conklin officiating. Music was by Rev. Chris Conklin. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr handled the arrangements.
Casket bearers were Eric McDaniel, Kris Pickens, David McDaniel, Wayne McGehee, Darrell Dodge and Daniel Graham.
Edna was laid at rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.
There will be a terrible void in our lives without you Mother, but know you have taught us so much by your unselfish actions of love that even though your soul is with God, your heart will go on in all our future generations. We know you will watch over us and keep us all safe everyday of our lives.