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1953 - 2023

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Vicki Marie Payne (Brown)

Vicki Marie Payne (Brown) passed away on December 27, 2023 at age 70, after a brief and sudden illness. She went peacefully, surrounded by her family. Vicki was predeceased by her husband Dave Payne; parents, Carl and Avis (Dawley) Brown; sister, Irma (Mendell) Bartlett; brother, Walter Brown; nephew, Bill Jones, and beloved cat, Punkin. She is survived by her sons, Adam Wright and Evan (Kristina) Wright; grandson, Wesley Sherwood-Wright; sister, Rita (Jerry) Gallagher; sister-in-law, Theresa Brown; nephew Gary (Pam) Brown; niece, Debra (Rod) Gilliland and many wonderful friends.

The youngest daughter of a dairy farmer/justice of the peace and school teacher, Vicki grew up in rural St. Lawrence county. As a child she was active in 4H and went on to graduate from Madrid-Waddington Central School in 1971 where she was a cheerleader and prom queen. Vicki studied at SUNY Geneseo for a year before transferring to SUNY Oneonta. Her interest and talent for sewing took her to Manhattan where she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology for a semester before graduating in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics.

After college, Vicki returned to the North Country where she worked for Chicago Market Grocery before embarking on a career with the Department of Corrections, first at Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and later Livingston Correctional Facility. She held multiple positions with DOC but was most proud of her work as Inmate Grievance Coordinator, the position that would bring her back to the Geneseo, NY area with her sons in 1991. Vicki went on to work at Finger Lakes DDSO until she retired in 2019.

Vicki’s life was defined by her love for her sons, siblings, and mother. Her hard-working nature, light-hearted (and sometimes slightly inappropriate) sense of humor, generous spirit and kindness made her a joy to be around. Forever unwavering in her dedication, loyalty and love to her family and friends. She was a caretaker above all else.

Vicki was a gentle, proud, present, and supportive mother who never missed a game, competition, ceremony or event that her boys participated in. Her home was the gathering spot for all of her son’s friends growing up, many of whom still consider her to be their “second mom” to this day.

Vicki loved to bake and shared that expression of love with those she cared for. She wouldn’t let a friend’s, coworker’s or relative’s birthday go by without baking them something from scratch and she came to every holiday gathering with multiple desserts in tow. I’m sure she heard the words “can you send me that recipe?” more times than she could count over the years.

Vicki loved going to craft shows with her sister, best friend and partner in crime, Rita. Their yearly tradition of going to Christmas in the Country began to include her future daughter-in-law and her family – a tradition that ended too soon but will be cherished by all.

She also loved traveling to see her family in California (now South Carolina) with her sister; a cherished time spent reminiscing, playing games, drinking wine and going out for Mexican food and margaritas.

A few years into a well deserved retirement, after giving up on being a grandmother, Vicki was finally blessed with her beloved Wesley in January of 2022. Vicki shared a deep and instant bond with Wes, one that only continued to grow throughout his first two years as she shared fully in caring for and raising him. The role of “Grammy” was one she was built for and relished every moment of. Wesley gave her a new sense of purpose with his arrival that continued through the end of her life. He shares her sweet, gentle nature and sense of humor. His presence put a sparkle in her eye that will shine forever in our memories.

Vicki left us much too soon but her generous, compassionate, witty spirit will live on through all of us that she touched in her time here.

A celebration of her life will be announced at a later date and will include services in both Rochester and Waddington/Ogdensburg, taking place in early Spring around Vicki’s birthday.

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