Friday, August 12, 2022

Sally Hancock Payne, modeled unconditional love and resilience

Sally Hancock Payne

WILMINGTON — Sally Hancock Payne peacefully passed away Sunday night, May 16, 2021.

What an amazing life she had. At an early age, she knew she wanted to be either a librarian or nurse. As a child, she lost her pocket knife temporarily to curtail her using (untrained) nursing skills on friends. She graduated from Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in 1955, with her nursing career culminating with 24 years at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Her warm and caring touch was called out by her peers and patients for recognition. She raised four children as a single mother before that was common, modeling unconditional love and resilience. She worked 3rd shift so she could have mornings and evenings with her kids.

She was an avid reader and news watcher. She also loved Antique Roadshow, hot chocolate with whipped cream, turtle candies and spending time with family and friends. She was known for her stuffed shells and her delicious macaroni and cheese. She had a patient ear, a quick smile and fabulous storytelling skills. Sally never met a stranger, with many adopting her as their second mom. She loved well and was well-loved. She will be greatly missed.

She was born Jan. 8, 1935, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jessie B. and Roy S. Hancock. She shared that birthdate with Elvis Presley, which insured her age was announced publicly on the airwaves at least annually.

Surviving are her children, Martha Farrow of Winston-Salem, Roy Payne III, and his wife, Louisa Fong, of Mooresville, David Payne of Thomasville and Sarah Payne of Wilmington; and grandchildren, Leif Payne, Charlie Zuchick and Zoey Payne; great-grandchildren, Lillie and Lyndsay Payne; and grand-dog, Podi. She also leaves behind three siblings, Ruth (Joe) McCluskey of Veazie, Maine, Jessie Gale of Barrington, Rhode Island, and Jerry Hancock of Lexington, Kentucky.

She joins her mother and father; brother, Jimmy; and adored dogs, Goldie and J.C., in the white fluffy clouds surrounded by blue sky.

Family and friends will have a celebration of life ceremony later this year at one of Sally’s favorite places.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that you make a donation to Heifer International’s Send a Girl to School program in Sally’s name at In addition, we ask that you drink a favorite beverage or cook a favorite meal in her honor. She loved to share food and drink with friends and family.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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