April 18, 1950 ~ September 11, 2021 (age 71)


Mary Josephine Varnes Payton (Mary Jo), 71, passed away on September 11, 2021 at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby, Montana. She was born on April 18, 1950 to Leon and Enid Varnes in Terry, Montana and moved to Libby where she attended school. She married Thirl Payton on November 29, 1969 and they eventually settled in Noxon, Montana. They resided in Noxon for 20 years before moving to Troy in 1995. Mary Jo loved the Lord and was very active in Troy Community Baptist Church.


She is preceded in death by her one true love of 38 years,Thirl Payton (2008), mother Enid (Killem) Attchison, father Leon Varnes, sisters Irean Beach, and Lois Auge.


Survivors include her brothers Larry (Donna) Steinmentz of Portland Oregon;  Edward Varnes (Donna) of Gillette, WY;  daughter Sandi Sullivan (Scott) of Troy, Montana; grandchildren Sarah Sullivan (Joe Naughton) of Troy, Montana, and Sean Sullivan of Pullman; WA; great grandchildren Ryker, Devynn, and Dawson Naughton all of Troy; and her beloved dog Matti.



A celebration of life will be held in April of 2022. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at

To send flowers to MARY's family, please visit our floral store.


Family to do services at later date

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