Reception to Follow
Mary Dianne Payne Lee, 81, wife of the late Edgar Terrell Lee, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 14, 2023.
Born in Winston-Salem, NC, she was the oldest of the three children of the late John Wesley and Mary Belle Clinard Payne.
After graduating from Women’s College (currently the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1964 she continued her education and received her master’s degree from Georgia State University in 1973. She completed her post graduate work at the University of South Carolina.
Dianne was a lifelong educator. She taught high school English in Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. Dianne spent the majority of her career at Lexington High School in Lexington, SC where she taught both English and Honors English. After twenty-five years she retired from Lexington High School as the Assistant Principal for Instruction. In 2001, Dianne was recognized by The Secondary Principals, a division of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, as the Assistant Principal of the Year for South Carolina.
After her retirement from public education, Dianne served as a Field Trainer for the educational software company, Kuder, of Adel, Iowa. She spent more than ten years working for Kuder, earning several awards and accolades. Dianne loved working with Kuder as it allowed her to travel throughout the country.
In her free time, Dianne volunteered every week with Baptist Hospital in Columbia, SC where she worked in the Mother and Baby Unit. Her favorite job was to rock the newborns. She also loved to travel, read, garden, and enjoyed her wine. Once Dianne became a grandmother, spending time with her grandchildren took priority, and she made sure to share her joy of reading and travel with them as well.
Throughout her life she was involved in church. A faithful member of McGregor Presbyterian Church, she was recognized for her service in 1992 when she was presented with the McGregor Presbyterian Women’s Service Award. Once she relocated to Greenville, she attended Christ Church Episcopal where she volunteered with the Altar Guild.
Dianne will be remembered for many things. She was committed to her faith, her family and friends, and the profession of education. She was an intellectual who loved to read and often quoted Shakespeare. She had an incredible wit and sense of humor. Above all, she loved and was loved in return.
She is survived by two daughters, Susannah Kang of Greenville, SC and Elisabeth Lee of Simpsonville, SC; two grandchildren, Elisabeth Grace Clinard Kang and Harrison Dae Kang, both of Greenville SC; a brother, John Wesley Payne of High Point, NC; and a sister, Margaret Payne Allabaugh also of High Point, NC.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Downtown. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal with a reception to follow. Burial will be held at Wallburg Baptist Church Cemetery in Winston-Salem, NC under the assistance of JC Green and Sons Funeral Home.
Pallbearers for her funeral will be Mr. Stephen Dae Kang, Mr. Bruce Christian Ko, Mr. Frank Hilton McGill III, Mr. John Wesley Payne, Fr. Daniel Andrew Wagner, and Mr. Chad Powell Youngblood with Mr. Harrison Dae Kang serving as an honorary pallbearer.
Pallbearers for her graveside service will be Mr. Stephen Dae Kang, Mr. Frank Hilton McGill III, Mr. John Wesley Payne, Mr. John Wesley Payne III, Mr. Kermit Payne Russell, and Mr. Chad Powell Youngblood, with Mr. Harrison Dae Kang serving as an honorary pallbearer.
Friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Mary with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.