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Former Moore County News editor/publisher JoAnne Payne dies after lengthy battle with cancer

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

JoAnne Greer Murray Payne, former Moore County News editor and publisher died Sunday, Feb. 24, after an extended battle with colon cancer.

JoAnne joined her late husband, Bobby E. Murray, as the owner, editor and publisher of the Moore County News after working for 31/2 years for the U.S. Government Selective Service Board in Moore County. She wrote under the pen name, Jo G.

J.B. Murray founded the Moore County News in 1928 and his son, Bobby took over the publication in the mid-50s, following his father’s retirement. JoAnne joined her husband at the helm of the paper until his death in 1983.

She sold the newspaper in 1984 to Terry and Marilyn Craig.

Among JoAnne’s accomplishments, she was named one of the Foremost Women in Mass Media in 1969. It was one of four national awards she would receive. She was also one of the first members of the Moore County Historic Commission, a member of the Moore County Planning Commission for many years and had been a member of the Moore County School Board.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Lynchburg and was active with the American Heart Association for three decades.

She was also employed by the Metro Moore Utilities as office manager and Woodard’s Market as head cashier.

JoAnne loved to fish, loved antiques, reading, traveling, flower gardening and was a devoted Vanderbilt fan.

She is survived by her husband of 19 years, Alan H. Payne; sons Zachary Greer Murray and his wife Rebecca, and Jason Seals Murray and his wife Sandy, all of Lynchburg; four grandchildren, B.J. Murray of Cookeville, Jay Murray and his wife Ashley of Lynchburg, Jana Murray and husband Evan Mitchell of Fayetteville, and Laura Holt and her husband Josh, of Tullahoma, and her brother Thomas A. Greer and his wife JoAnn of Winchester.

Her seven great-grandchildren include Jayden and Jasiah Murray, Scout Murray, Clay Tippy, Cayvan Mitchell, and Logan and Kylee Holt; two step-grandchildren, Heather Whitaker and her husband Schuvaud, of Lynchburg, and Jessie Redden, of Michigan; three step great-grandchildren, Tristan, Noah and Addison Whitaker.

JoAnne was born in Bedford County, the daughter of the late Joe Lloyd and Pauline Raby Greer. She moved to Lynchburg in 1953 following her marriage to the late Bobby Murray. She was also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Rachel Anne.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, March 3, beginning at 12:30 p.m. until time of the memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Lynchburg Funeral Home Chapel. Bro. David Adams and Bro. Ricky Lee will officiate. Burial will follow in the Lynchburg Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Moore County Public Library. Online guest registry is available at the website <>.