Ward's Grave Marker

Our brother Ward committed suicide 30 years ago. He was 18. He's been lying in an unmarked grave at Forest Lawn ever since. We'd like to rectify that. To offset the high cost of grave markers, we're asking for help. Any amount would be appreciated. Please help us give our brother the dignity he deserves.

Jason Payne and Pamila Payne

A short remembrance from Pamila:

My brother Ward committed suicide at the age of 18 on Jul. 20, 1984.

My mother told me that she gave birth to him on a gurney in the elevator at county hospital. But I have no idea if that's true or not.

My relationship with my brother was complicated, we didn't have the opportunity to grow up together. I saw him infrequently when we were children and lived in the same home with him for barely three years.

He was fifteen when I left. He was an odd young man who couldn't find a place for himself, coming of age just before it was cool to be weird.

But I didn't really know the young man. I knew the child. I'll say what I remember about that child.

He had a beautiful voice and could sing in nearly every style. He sang commercial jingles, with feeling.

He had the sort of grin that inspired certain kinds of adults to demand it be wiped off his face.

He was easily amused and capable of making toys out of anything.

He loved and appreciated comedy of all sorts, and had a lunatic laugh that was infectious and impossible to ignore.

He had beautiful eyes and an intelligent gaze that belied the labels he was saddled with in special ed classes.

He was a very friendly, curious child. He would talk to anyone.

He loved the idea of space travel and spaceships of all kinds fascinated him. We saw Star Wars at the Van Nuys drive-in theater when it came out. Star Wars blew his mind.

One of the last times I saw him, he was sitting on the couch doing a perfectly pitched a cappella version of Gary Numan's, Praying To The Aliens. I kind of hope they answered him.



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jason payne 
Pasadena, CA
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