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Mary C. Payne

February 15, 1930 - June 21, 2019

Burial Date: June 1, 2019

Funeral Home W. J. Gist Mortuary

Interment New Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery

Church New Bethel Baptist Church

Saturday (06/01): Funeral Service – 1:00PM; New Bethel Baptist Church; Interment – following service; New Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery


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Mary Elizabeth Cannon Payne passed away at Regional Memorial Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, following a brief illness.

Born on February 15, 1930 in Woodruff, South Carolina, she was the eighth of nine children born to the late William Wallace, Sr. and Florence B. Cannon. She joined New Bethel Church as a child. She remained an active member until her death, serving many years as head of the Flower Club.

She received her early formal education at New Bethel School and completed high school at Mather Academy in Camden, SC. Ms. Payne also received an Associates Degree from Carver Junior College in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Payne eventually moved to Washington, D.C. where she met and married Clarence L. Payne. To this union, one child was born: Regina LaVerne.

Mary worked a variety of jobs in Washington, D.C. before returning to Woodruff in the early 1960’s to care for her sick father. After his death in December of 1962, she remained in Woodruff to care for her mother.

Ms. Payne worked at the Blouse Plant in Woodruff before working at Fiber Industries, Greenville, SC, where she worked as a Lab Technician for almost 25 years before retiring in 1987.

She performed her civic duty by serving as a member of the Political Action Committee as well as serving as an election Poll Manager for many years.

Feisty, fun-loving, outgoing and fiercely independent, Ms. Payne was instrumental in assisting with the care-giving for numerous local seniors. She thoroughly enjoyed and actively participated in the Woodruff Leisure Center’s Senior Program. She was blessed to have made many friends throughout her life.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Clarence L. Payne; siblings: Grace Juanita Lawrence, Helen B. Perry, Elsie M. Sanders, Jessie L. Joyner, Florence C. Goodwin, and William Wallace Cannon, Jr.

She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter and son-in-law: Regina P. and John H. Cobb, Jr.; granddaughter: Gabrielle Elizabeth Cobb, all of Richmond, VA; two sisters: Ada C. Underwood of Spartanburg, SC, and Mildred

C. Nelson, of Missouri City, TX (formerly of Greenville, SC); three sisters-in-law: Lorraine P. Williams of Charlottesville, VA, Isabel P. Giles of Chicago, IL, and Bennie M. Payne of Louisville, KY; one brother-in-law: Eugene Williams of Charlottesville, VA, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends.

Additionally, Ms. Payne had two “daughters of the heart”: Connie D. Lane (Belton) and Cheryl T. Bowens (Eddie), both of Woodruff, S.C., along with their families.

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