Tribute for George Terrance Payton
Welcome to the memorial page for

George Terrance Payton

June 9, 1927 ~ December 13, 2018 (age 91)

Dr. George “Terry” Payton, of San Jose, CA, passed away on December 13th, 2018 at the age of 91. He was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1927 to John George Payton and Kathleen (Allen) Payton.

Dr. Payton was a local educator, author and former police officer. He was a native Californian who resided in the Bay Area for 66 years. George proudly served as a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. In 1953 he met his wife Waneece Arata at San Jose State University. They were married for 53 years until Waneece’s passing in 2006. During their marriage they had six daughters. In 1956 George worked as a Patrol Officer for San Jose Police Department, where he was promoted to Juvenile Officer and later Sergeant Detective. In 1961 he left the police department to become Department Chairman of the Law Enforcement program at San Jose City College, while working as a Lieutenant in the San Jose Police Reserves. In 1963 he founded and supervised the first Police Academy in Santa Clara County. In 1975, he transferred to Evergreen Valley College where he served as Administration of Justice Department Chair. Dr. Payton received his BA and MA at San Jose State University.  In 1976 he received his Doctorate in Criminal Justice Education at University of Southern California. In 1988 he retired from Evergreen Valley College after 27 years of teaching. Dr. Payton was the author of six law enforcement books and a member of Santa Clara County Grand Jury. During his career and in retirement he participated in numerous organizations such as International Association of Chiefs of Police, California Peace Officers Association, International Association of Identification, American Association of Criminology, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, and the National American Criminal Justice Association, where he served 20 years as a faculty advisor for the local chapter.

Hobbies and small business endeavors were important to Dr. Payton. In his earlier years he dabbled in home remodeling and construction. More recently he liked publishing and distributing his own textbooks in addition to collecting stamps, coins and postcards. He enjoyed domestic and international travel, especially with his wife, Waneece.

Dr. Payton is survived by his daughters, Lynn Sanders, Alice McCarter, Janet Byrd, Casey Payton, Susan Kintana, and Eileen Payton; his brother, Dennis Payton, sister-in-law Darlene Myers, and grandchildren Natalie Cunha, Andraya Cunha, Adam Byrd and Ryan Byrd.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Waneece (Arata) Payton, and grandson, Harold “J.R.” Butterfield.

A rosary will be recited at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 5111 San Felipe Rd, San Jose, on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. and a requiem mass will be held on January 3, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the same location. Following the mass, a reception will be held at San Jose Police Officers Association Hall at 1151 North Fourth Street, San Jose. All friends and family are invited. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at

Charitable donations may be made to:

Lewy Body Dementia Association
912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Liburn GA 30047
Tel: 1-404-418-7396

 Service Information

Recitation of the Rosary
January 2, 2019

7:00 PM
St. Francis of Assisi
5111 San Felipe Road
San Jose, CA 95135

Catholic Funeral Mass
January 3, 2019

2:00 AM
St. Francis of Assisi
5111 San Felipe Road
San Jose, CA 95135

January 3, 2019

4:00 PM
Police Officer Association
1151 North 4th Street
San Jose, CA 95114

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