Candace (Candy) Alexandria Gutierrez Payne, began her life’s journey on July 17, 1947 in Spearville, Kansas.  On February 4, at the age of 73, her long battle with health issues ended, Candy is no longer in pain, has gained her angel wings, and is at rest in the hands of our Lord.

Candy was strong, driven and hard-working.  She was dedicated to her faith, her husband, her immediate family, and a small group of close friends.  She was fiercely loyal and always willing to fight for anyone and anything near to her heart.  The few that were lucky enough to be close to her quickly realized just how big and caring her heart was.

Candy was the oldest of 4 children, the daughter of John and Helen Gutierrez of Alton, Illinois.

Candy attended Alton High School in Alton, Illinois. She was an honor graduate of the Kitzmiller Beauty College where she became a licensed Cosmetologist, Instructor and Advisor for the College.

While attending Beauty College in 1966, she was introduced by friends to Cecil at his request.  During the next couple of years, courting and dating was slowed only by his obligation to serve in the military.  Their relationship blossomed from across the miles. On September 21, 1968, at the Bethalto Church of God, in Bethalto, Illinois. Candy and Senior Airman Cecil Payne were married.

In 1979, Candy & Cecil moved to the Lake of the Ozarks.  Candy maintained her household, raised two children and owned several businesses, including Osage Alterations and First Impressions Bridal & Formal Wear.  She made many garments, gowns and custom stage costumes for local country music shows, Branson music shows, Tan-Tar-A Resort, and The Lodge of the Four Seasons as well as restaurants such as The Potted Steer and The Blue Heron.  Her gowns and costumes went to clients all over the world, including England, France, Italy and Greece.

Candy was preceded in death by both her parents, her brother, Thomas Gutierrez, and her infant daughter, Gail Ann Payne.

Surviving is her husband Cecil of 54 years, daughter, Tracey Payne Buster (David) of Columbia Missouri, and son Eric Payne (Dana) of Ashland Missouri.   Along with 6 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.

Candy was a past member of Bethalto Church of God, Bethalto, Illinois, Osage Hills Baptist Church, Osage Beach, Missouri, and was an active member of the Ashland Baptist Church in Ashland, Missouri.

Candy enjoyed reading her bible and remained busy with her many talents which included building Lego models with her grandson, sewing for family and friends, making and upholstering furniture, woodworking projects, ceramics, ceramic tile, stained glass and collecting Precious Moments figurines. During the summer months she enjoyed gardening, fishing, and target shooting.  Most important of all she loved spoiling her grandchildren.

Candy was a deeply loved wife, mom and grandma and will be greatly missed.  In her last days, she let us know she was ready to go home to be with her Savior.

In lieu of flowers, her wishes were that donations be made to Ashland Baptist Church.

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