Alfredetta Helena Payton Lindberg, 63, passed away on Nov. 29 in Great Falls.
Funeral services were held on Dec. 6 at Pondera Valley Lutheran Church. Pondera Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Alfredetta was born to parents Ezra Otto Payton Sr. and Evelyn Geneva Wade Payton on June 11, 1950 in Mobile, Ala. She moved to San Francisco, Calif., with her mother and siblings in 1954. The family united with Double Rock Baptist Church, and subsequently, with Antioch Baptist Church after moving to Oakland in 1959.
Alfredetta attended and graduated from McClymonds High School in 1968. She had many achievements in high school that demonstrated her skills as a team player. She was a Pom-Pom girl, Choir Member, Year Book Staff and the Sakamoto Dance Group, all while attending College Preparatory Classes. After graduating from high school, she expressed her 5’1”, 90 pound competitive demeanor by challenging male applicants for the job of driving a forklift for Colgate. Of course, she proudly won the position. She later enrolled in the East Bay Skills Center in Berkeley, Calif., and received a Licensed Vocational Nursing Degree.
We all remember Detta as a sweet and ever giving person. Her home and her fortunes were there for all who paused in her presence. Many are indebted to her kindness and for being the personification of what it means to be a woman. Mary McLeod Bethune said it best: “Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.”
In 1972, while living in Oakland, Calif., Alfredetta met her future husband Paul Lindberg. They immediately hit it off, and for both of them it was love at first site! Paul eventually moved back to Montana to run the family farm, but the two stayed very close friends for the next nine years. Paul finally proposed on Thanksgiving weekend at her sister’s home. She of course said “YES!” Alfredetta, Damon and Nicole moved from Oakland to the farm with Paul, 35 miles east of Conrad, where they began a new life together. They were married June 26, 1982. From the very beginning, Detta jumped right into the “farm life”. She drove grain trucks, prepared and served meals to Paul and the rest the crew, all while taking care of the home and children. Subsequently she became secretary/treasurer of the farm corporation.
In September of 1984, Paul and Alfredetta welcomed a baby girl to the family. Her name was Vanessa Rochelle. One month after Vanessa’s birth, the family lost Damon at age 16 to an auto accident. Four short years later, Alfredetta gave birth to a son, Ian Clarke, who lived only one short day. Even with her many losses in life, she carried her grief with such grace and dignity, her loving partner Paul ever at her side.
In 1995 the family moved the 35 miles to town to be closer to Paul’s elderly parents and to shorten the trip for school and school activities. Detta enjoyed following all of her children’s activities throughout the school years. She was her kids and grandkids “chauffeur”, driving from the farm to every town in the area to get to dance and voice lessons, baseball, softball and basketball practices. Although maybe a little late, she never missed a recital, game, tennis match or play.
An avid seamstress, she made Halloween costumes every year and also altered bridesmaid dresses for
weddings. We will all remember her for her culinary skills. She was more than just a great cook, she was an amazing chef who prepared meals that are memorable to all. Her creative flair for design was apparent in her home. And her individuality came through in her clothing, her hairstyles and of course her many hats and head scarves!
She loved her dog Cha-Chi, “her show” The Young & The Restless, and of course she loved Michael Jackson.
The family will always be indebted to Alfredetta for taking on the duties of primary caregiver of her mother and father-in-law, Arnold and Marie, making meals and driving to doctor appointments. In their opinion, the sun rose and set on Detta. She had an incredibly close bond with her grandchildren. They were truly the light of her life. Because she enjoyed being around people, Detta took a job at SUBWAY and in her eight years there, she brightened the day of everyone that came in contact with her. She took a lot of pride in baking the best bread they served.
Alfredetta is survived by her husband Paul; daughters Nicole Gobert and Vanessa Lindberg; grandchildren Jasmine and Savon Hilyard and Pharaoh Gobert; her mother Evelyn Henderson and siblings, Barbarette (Melvin) Newton; Ezra Otto Payton Jr.; Norbert Payton; Oliver (Dolores) Henderson; Kenneth Henderson; Helen Payton; Montrez (Cheryl) Payton; Daniel (Angela) Payton; Henry Payton; Edward (Bridget) Payton; Nephews Maurice and Lautaro Newton who are virtually Alfredetta’s sons by another mother (Barbarette). Detta, as she was affectionately called by family and friends, also leaves to mourn her passing a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She is preceded in death by two sons Damon Sennette and Ian Lindberg; father Ezra Otto Payton Sr.; brothers, Norman Payton, Orlando Payton, Leonard Payton; and sister Arjetta Payton.
Detta made a lasting impact on all our lives. She was the definition of a true friend. She will forever be
remembered as a fountain of wisdom and for her caring and giving nature. Truly a selfless person. Outrageously funny, sometimes unintentionally! Always unique, never judgmental, always true to herself.
Most diffidently ONE OF A KIND. CLASSIC. UNFORGETTABLE.
Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.