Official Obituary of

William Earl "BJ" Payton, Jr.

February 19, 1966 ~ November 5, 2022 (age 56) 56 Years Old

William Payton, Jr. Obituary

The Celebration of Life Service for Mr. Payton will be live streamed on the Facebook Page of Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor



William Earl “BJay” Payton, Jr. was the born in Durham, North Carolina on February 19, 1966 to Icelean LaVonne Davis and William Earl Payton, Sr.  BJay was the first born of two children.

During BJay’s formative years, he learned the value of community work. He was a member of Jack and Jill and participated in many activities sponsored by the organization. He also enjoyed a life of engagement and was involved in several activities as a teenager. In high school he ran track and field, was a member of the marching band at Hillside High School. He also participated in drama and theatre and was who’s who in Spanish.

BJay enjoyed family reunions, traveling to various places with Danielle and the children and visiting with good friends. He cherished visiting his family.

After college, BJay returned to Durham. He was introduced to Danielle by his mother. It was love at first sight. They dated, fell in love and later married July 18, 1998. Of this blessed union, Zeely Imani, Zoe Ashanti and Zion Israel were born. BJay, was a proud and loving husband to Danielle and father to Zeely, Zoe, and Zion Payton.

BJay dedicated his life to the improvement and well-being of young people; having served as a youth counselor affiliated with the California Penal System, helping young gang members not only transition back into society from incarceration but also into new lives after the gang. While in California, he con[1]tinued his love of theatre and movies and decided to attend acting school. He had lots of fun and met lots of up and coming actors.

Upon his return to North Carolina, BJay served as a youth Mental Health Counselor, mentor, and most recently as an educator in the Orange County School District where he continued the work that he loved until the onset of his illness.

BJay was a proud inductee and member of the 100 Black Men of America; an organization dedicated to the uplift and empowerment of young men and women toward realizing their highest potential. This is where he continued his love for his community and passion for young people.

Left to cherish his loving memory is his wife, Danielle Porche Payton, his children, Zeely, Zoe and Zion. Also left to cherish his memory is his brother, Henry “Hank” (Keysha) Payton of National Harbor, MD, Aunts, Maria Davis Dorsey (Durham, NC), Betty Lou Lewis Davis (Houston, TX), Sylvia Scott Davis (Durham, NC) ; mother-in-law, Mrs. Ida Porche (Nashville, NC), sister-in-law, Veronica Lynn Porche, brothers-in-law, Mr. William Porche, Jr, Donald Claudell Porche, Christopher Lee Porche (Lea). BJay will also be missed by a host of special nieces and nephews and many cousins who loved him dearly

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November 13, 2022

2:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Bell-Yeager Free Will Baptist Church
128 E. Cornwallis Road
Durham, NC 27707

Celebration of Life
November 13, 2022

3:00 PM
Bell-Yeager Free Will Baptist Church
128 E. Cornwallis Road
Durham, NC 27707


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