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Mary Clemon Payne
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Obituary for Mary Clemon Payne

Mary Clemon Daniel Payne of Avondale Estates died Saturday June 2, 2018. Mary was born in Normandy, Tennessee on August 11, 1919. Mary was a basketball star for Manchester High School, Manchester, TN, and was reputed to have scored 100 points in a game (never officially verified). She was a former Miss Middle Tennessee beauty pageant winner and had a lifetime love of the piano which she continued to play at age 98. Her athletic and competitive nature continued in tennis and golf that she played well into her eighties. In 1942, a job took Mary to Macon, Georgia where she met and married a British Royal Air Force pilot, Denis Payne. Shortly after their marriage in 1943, Denis was called back to England and Mary volunteered for British military service in order to be with Denis. Mary traveled to England in a convoy of ships in the midst of German U-boat activity and arrived in London during the German V-1 buzz bomb campaign. She knew no one in England and Denis' family did not even know of their marriage. Mary recalled with great humor knocking on the door of one of her sister-in-law's in the middle of a bombing raid warning wearing a fashionable fur coat and seeing the look of shock when her sister-in-law finally opened the door. Returning to the US after the war, Mary and Denis, with four sons and Mary's mother, settled in Avondale Estates in 1954. Mary was the Executive Secretary for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association when it was formed to run Stone Mountain Park. In family lore, it became "Mary's Mountain" and the Park named a locomotive after her to honor years of dedicated service. Mary was a long-time member of the Avon Garden Club, best known for her persuasiveness in selling pancake tickets for their annual fundraiser and the Avondale Woman's Club. Queen Mary and Lord Denis (LD) were fixtures in the Avondale Estates community for over 60 years. Mary was a loving wife for over 70 years, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and will be sorely missed but fondly remembered. She was preceded in death by her husband Denis and granddaughter Cindy. Mary is survived by her 4 sons: Terry D. Payne (Terry) of Marble, NC, David G. Payne (Rebecca) of Birmingham, AL, Richard J. Payne (Katy) of Suwanee, GA and Michael D. Payne (Jeanie) of Avondale Estates/Sewanee, TN; 11 grandchildren: Torey Payne (Gina) of Raleigh, NC; Mary Kathryn Payne (Tracy Johnston) of Chattanooga; TN, Kimberly Starling (Steve) of Birmingham, AL; Ashley Tipler of West Point, GA; Elizabeth Payne of Athens, GA; Daniel Payne (Pary) of Birmingham, AL; Katie Payne-Havell (Tommy) of Nashville, TN; Michael Payne, Jr. and Andrew Payne of Atlanta, GA; Angie McCann (Mark) of Dunwoody, GA and John Shapard (Jennifer) of Alpharetta, GA; 8 great-children: Taylor Trowbridge, Mary Morgan Trowbridge, Mason Payne, Malinee Tipler, Sarah and Katie McCann, A J D'Amore (Kalie) and Olivia Payne.
A celebration of a life very well lived shall be held on Friday, July 6 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur at 2:00 pm. The family will receive friends beginning at 1:15 in the narthex of the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church or a favorite charity.


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Previous Events

Church Service

Friday

6

Jul

2:00 PM
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

515 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030

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