Wendy Payne, 70, of Middletown, passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, November 20. Wendy spent most of her life in Montgomery, raising her family and teaching in the Edison school district for 30 years. She had recently moved to Middletown to be near family and was thriving in her reconnection with ten- nis, the arts, traveling, meeting new friends and teaching her grandchildren at every opportunity.
Wendy was an avid student, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore and master’s degree from Rutgers in early childhood education. She applied her education into a passion for teaching, touching both her public school students and more profoundly her own children. She brought an energy and creativity to her work, recognizing each child as an individual and challenging herself to bring out their best. Many of her students went on to accomplish great things and shared with her how appreciative they were of Wendy’s early inspiration.
Wendy had an enormous heart and generosity that reached well beyond her awareness. She had a quiet strength and independent spirit that inspired those who spent time with her. Wendy’s sense of humor could surprise and delight as she was well versed on the latest in sports, politics, literature and current affairs. Beyond all, she was a devoted mother and adoring grandmother. She lived her life to create opportunities for her family. And she was particularly blessed in the last decade to see her family grow and savored the opportunity to share a lifetime of learning and newfound laughter with her grandchildren.
Wendy is survived by her son, Drew Payne, and his wife Mary Elizabeth; their sons, Lachlan and Ronan; her daughter, Heather Gorman and her husband, Ed, and their children, Karina, Teddy, Delilah and Charlie; and her uncle, Mario D’Angelo.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to St Jude Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN, 38105. The Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, was in charge of arrangements.
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