Sunshine Venonia Shehee Payne
Sunshine Venonia Shehee Payne, 95, passed away June 23, 2014, in Ocoee, Florida. She was born March 17, 1919, Arcadia, Louisiana to Dr. Henry Daniel and Venonia Williams Shehee. She was happily married to Rear Admiral Charles Norville Payne, Jr. (USN) for 50 years, who preceded her in death in 1993. Sunshine was instrumental in Charlie's professional success and was well-known for her warm Southern charm, superb culinary skills and gracious manner. She could provide a crowd with a delicious home-made meal with just hours' notice. Sunshine's name reflected her optimistic personality and joie de vivre. She volunteered many years for the Navy Relief, where she also served as a chapter president.
Sunshine was an accomplished needle pointer and created award-winning, museum-quality stitch work including a kneeler cover at St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Annapolis, MD.
One of Sunshine's enduring gifts to her family is a journal that she wrote late in life. It describes her early years in Louisiana, her support of Charlie's naval career, including his assignments as Shipyard Commander, Charleston, SC, and Supervisor of Shipbuilding at the Ingalls Shipyard, Pascagoula, MS, and after his retirement from the Navy, the years they enjoyed in Glen Cove, NY while he served as President, Webb Institute of Naval Architecture.
Sunshine was salutatorian of her Arcadia High School class ('36) and received her B.A. in English from Louisiana Tech University ('40). She taught high school during WWII while Charlie was deployed to the South Pacific.
Sunshine is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Priscilla and Lee Cockerell, Orlando, FL; daughter Cherry Payne and husband Robert Howard, Santa Fe, NM; and son Henry Payne, New York, NY; grandchildren Daniel Cockerell and wife Valerie, Orlando, FL; Kate Tyler and husband Kurt, Houston, TX; great-grandchildren Jullian, Margot, and Tristan Cockerell; and her sister, Nancy Shehee Paylor Cecil and husband Waldo, Shreveport, LA.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to the Sunshine Shehee Payne Scholarship of the Reverend Charlie E. and Cinderella S. Taylor, Sr. Foundation, P.O. Box 815, Holly Springs, MS 38635 (www.cctaylorfoundation.org). Services will be held at a later date at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, where she will be inurned with her husband.
Published in Shreveport Times from June 25 to June 29, 2014