Ann “Sonja” Payne Murrell, 81, passed peacefully from this life into the presence of her Lord and Savior on 14 January 2021 at Taylor Manor in Versailles, KY. She was born 30 January 1939 to Elwood “Woodie” Fuqua (Clark) and William Carlos Payne in Madisonville, Ky. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Music Education and began teaching in the Daviess and Jessamine County school systems in Kentucky.
Sonja’s children, family and friends were her life’s treasures. She loved to travel and lived in Europe and Asia for over ten years during her husband’s (Clyde Clarence Murrell) 21 years in the United States Army. Her favorite places were in the Alps of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland where she retained friends for over 55 years. Her work-related travel included mission trips to Brazil, Asia, and the Middle East. After teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) informally for almost 30 years, Sonja was called to work with international students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA. While at Virginia Tech, she taught ESL, served as a missionary, and worked as part of the team at the Cranwell International Center where she made many deep friendships with students, staff, and faculty. After spending almost 55 years away from her home state of Kentucky, Sonja spent the last six years in the Lexington, KY area. This allowed her to spend time with her sister (Janice) who was instrumental in her being safe and happy during her final years She remained both a UK Wildcat and Virginia Tech Hokie’s fan throughout her lifetime!
She is survived by her son & daughter-in-law (Erich Payne Murrell and Jennifer Lynn Cheatham Murrell), her daughter (Andrea Janine-Payne Murrell), her sister & brother-in-law (Janice and Don Kelly), and over 24 cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Erich and Janice wish to thank both Taylor Manor and Gabi Minogue (Sonja’s personal caregiver while at Daisy Hill) for their loving and professional care during Sonja’s final years.
Due to COVID, there will be no formal services at this time. Clark Legacy Center in Versailles, KY and The Lexington Cemetery are handling arrangements and interment. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made in honor of Sonja to your church’s missionary fund; any donations sent directly to the family will be used for ongoing cancer treatment for Sonja’s family. ( https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/SonjaMurrellMemorial ) www.clarklegacycenter.com