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Elizabeth K. Payne

November 17, 2014

Elizabeth K. "Betsy" Payne, 71, Washington St., Watertown passed away Monday, November 17, 2014, at the Cleveland Clinic.

As per her wishes, no services will be held. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown.

Betsy was born in Buffalo on December 22, 1942, daughter of Edward and Gretchen Holderbaum Knothe. She graduated from Warsaw High School, attended Eastman School of Music Prep Dept., Rochester, Crane School of Music, and SUNY Potsdam, where she received her BA in Elementary Education. She did post graduate work at several universities in the north country.

On February 22, 1969 she married William Thomas Payne at All Souls Universalist Church. Mr. Payne, a teacher at Watertown High School, died September 26, 2006.

Teaching was her life, spending most of her career at Wiley School and retiring from teaching in 2000. She was a Teacher's Staff Developer at BOCES, program coordinator for Jeff-Lewis Teacher Center, and very active with Odyssey of the Mind, starting as coach and coordinator at Wiley School, eventually judging at the county and state levels. Mrs. Payne was a charter member of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Society For Women Educators, and a member of both American Assoc. of University Women and College Women's Club where she served in several positions. Betsy was a charter member and had served on the board of directors of NYS Staff Development Council and was a board member of the Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities sub-committee of the Jefferson County Community Services Board.

Another passion was reading education and literacy. She was a member of the Black River Reading Council/Greater 1000 Islands Literacy Council, where she held several positions including president. She was also a member of both the NYS Reading Assoc., where she received the Council Service Award twice, and the International Reading Assoc.

Betsy was a member of the Watertown Lyric Theater, Inc. and Watertown Musicales, Inc., serving in several capacities. She was honored with a lifetime membership due to her service to the musical theater. With her husband, she enjoyed boating the 1000 Islands.

She is survived by her sister, Nancy Knothe Stout, Huntersville, NC, three nephews, Andrew, Peter, and Patrick, brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Lawrence and Barbara Payne Douglas and their family, and many friends. Besides her husband, William, she was predeceased by her sister, Barbara Knothe.

Donations in Betsy's name may be made to Save-A-Life Program, Watertown Animal Hospital, 1445 Washington St. or Watertown Musicales, c/o Mary Sanford, treasurer, 718 Ball Ave., both in Watertown, NY 13601 or to the Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195. Online condolences to her family may be made at www.cummingsfuneral.com.

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