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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.


#18 Bill & Melodee Doull 2014-12-01 17:19
To the family and friends of Betsy Payne:
We have been fortunate to have been friends with Betsy and Bill Payne for about 50 years! It started with a friendship between the Glenn Doull and Tom Payne families. We enjoyed many activities together - boating on the beautiful St. Lawrence River, trips on the Rideau Canal, being educators in the area, playing games, telling stories of our pets and other animals, watching magic shows performed by our young son, lots of laughing and even some underwater diving. Betsy and Bill enriched our lives. We miss them.
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#17 Carolyn Wozniak Van 2014-11-26 13:29
I am deeply saddened at the news of Betsy's passing. She was one of my classmates at Warsaw Central School, Class of 1960. She was a very talented girl and a good friend.

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#16 Marjorie Brauer 2014-11-24 23:22
My deepest sympathy to Betsy's family. As also a member of ADK and a teacher(retired ), I know how much she contributed to the education of children. Loved listening to music at home in early years when husband were at WHS Science Dept.
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#15 Alicia Bach 2014-11-22 18:13
With sympathy to Betsy's family and friends. As a colleague, I learned by watching her do what she did so well, teach children.....
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#14 Bob Williams 2014-11-22 17:52
I just heard of Betsy's passing. I attended school with her.
She was a wonderful person and I am privileged to have known her.

RIP Betsy.
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#13 Barb Bowden Rudolph 2014-11-22 17:24
Please accept my sincere condolences. Betsy was a classmate at Warsaw Central. In fact, she introduced me to pizza! Many of us would go to the house, and she would create a pizza from a box...such fond memories of an enthusiasticand fun-filled classmate! Prayers to all of you.
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#12 Marti Martha Ramsey 2014-11-21 21:25
I knew Betsy from Kindergarten on up and graduated high school with her. She is a dear part of my life history and I am sending prayers to her family, especially Nancy.
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#11 Charlotte Kinney 2014-11-21 19:40
My deepest thoughts and prayers are with Betsy's family and friends at this time. Betsy was a classmate of mine from K-12 at Warsaw HS, NY.She was a dear friend of many of us. I shared some special times with her especially in HS with our parties and musical activites. Those are happy memories I will always recall about her.
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#10 Lynn C Hunneyman 2014-11-21 09:06
Betsy was the first Program Coordinator at the Jeff Lewis Teacher Center. Through her work and leadership many of our early programs and procedures were established. Betsy Payne was an outstanding educator, a real professional who set high standards, and a true friend to all who knew her. Betsy was by all measurements a real class act in everything she did and will be missed by all of us at the Center.
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#9 Andy Williams 2014-11-19 21:31
betsy was a great person and I truly enjoyed getting to know her over the past few years and she was a wonderful spirit and compassion for everyone.
She will be missed.
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