Avis Louise Payne Mertsock, 78, passed away on Saturday (July 30, 2022).
Avis was born on July 24, 1944 in Coudersport, Pa. to Lawrence Ambrose and Avis Louise (Huntington) Payne.
Avis’ first job was as a 16-year old waitress at Modern Diner. In later years she attended New Penn Beauty School for Cosmotology. She worked at LaGra before working in a salon in her home. After spending several years in Deltona, Fla., she returned to Wellsville and spent several years as a caterer for the Wellsville American Legion, retiring in 2011.
Avis is survived by a daughter, Lorrie (Adam) Chapman of Wellsville; a son, Brian (Debra) Meyers of Wellsville; three brothers, Lawrence (Linda) Payne of Vandalia, Mo., Andrew Payne of Wellsboro, Pa. and Scott (Cindy) Payne of Bay City, Mich.; three sisters, Judith (Jerry) Lewis of Whitesville, Barbara (Ken) Stewart of Lancaster, Pa. and Linda (Tim) Scott of Ulysses, Pa.; four grandchildren, Siera Perry, Christopher (Taylor) Meyers, Colin Meyers and Samantha Pensyl; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by an infant son, James Paul Meyers, who succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis; two brothers, Dewitt Payne and Stanley Payne; her first husband and father of her children, Ronald Meyers; and her second husband, John Mertsock.
Avis loved cooking, whether it was catering for a large event at the American Legion; preparing birthday dinners and desserts for friends and neighbors at Merriam Heights; rustic dining over the open fire on one of her many family camping trips; or teaching her daughter the art of cooking a traditional meal at Thanksgiving or Easter, cooking was always a big part of her life.
Another love for Avis was entertaining through singing karaoke and dancing. She was a long-time member of the Coop Troops Square Dancing Club. Avis also loved TV. She enjoyed her evening gameshows and was sure to tune into her favorite soap opera, the Young and Restless. She rarely missed an episode of Dancing with the Stars. Some of her children’s favorite memories were listening to their mother laugh at the antics of Johnny Carson through their bedroom wall or the spontaneous singing in the car during their vacations.
Her greatest love was that of her family. In addition to the camping trips and family dinners, she treasured the times babysitting for her grandchildren and children friends of the family. Every year she visited the Wiscoy Creek Lodge for a “Sisters Weekend”.
Avis was a member and later President of the Morrison Hayes Post 702 American Legion Auxiliary in Wellsville. She was also a member of the Wellsville VFW and served as a volunteer for the Western New York Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
There will be a time of visitation on Friday (August 5) from 2-4 p.m. at the Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Wellsville/Scio. The memorial service will be held on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home immediately following the visitation with Rev. Mike Brady of the Hallsport Christian Church, officiating. Her ashes will be laid to rest beside her infant son in Woodlawn Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Online condolences may be offered at www.baker-swan.com.
Memorial contributions in Avis’ name may be made to Western New York Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 100 College Parkway, Suite 280, Williamsville, NY 14221-6879. © 2022 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.