Cover photo for Mary Lynn (Drake)  Payne's Obituary
Mary Lynn (Drake)  Payne Profile Photo
1944 Mary 2024

Mary Lynn (Drake) Payne

1944 — 2024

Portland, Oregon

Mary Lynn Payne, 79, of Portland OR died March 12th, 2024, at Marquis Wilsonville Post Acute Rehab following a sudden and brief illness.

On October 10, 1944, she was born in Portland OR, the daughter of Dorothy Viola (Odden) Drake and Lynn Wells Drake.

She married Hasten Payne Jr. in Multnomah County, Oregon, and together they shared ten years of marriage.

Survivors Include: brother David Lee Drake, daughters Rhonda Marie Payne (Andrew James Dinges), LeAnne Carol Payne: nieces Crystal Lynn Drake, Rolunda Fulmer; cousins Kelley Garrett, Vicki Strickland, Sandra Garrett,  Craig Irby, Debbie Katterman, Becky Moir, Scott Odden, Janice Royce, Leslie Reader, James Benson, Christopher C. Gant, brother-in-law Christopher Smith, sister-in-law Debbie Drake; best friends Audre Williamson, Phillis Pace, and a host of friends, relatives,  listeners, loved ones, and those of you gathered here today.

She was preceded in death by her mother Dorothy Viola (Odden) Hall, father Lynn Wells Drake, cousins Sherrie Barron, Sonja Thomas, Timothy Royce, Christopher S. Gant; sisters-in-law Arthur Mae Smith, Princella Smith; nephews Douglas Smith, Christopher Smith, and Christopher Columbus Smith.

Mary was self-employed, providing childcare in her home for many, many years. After her children were grown, she began DJ’ing on weekends at the Royal Esquire Club and other clubs around Portland. She was known to her listeners as ‘Lady Blue’.

Mary was a member of Portsmouth Trinity Lutheran Church, her extended family’s home congregation, for approximately 15 years before transferring to Redeemer Lutheran, now Leaven Community Salt & Light Lutheran Church, in 1981. She attended with her daughters and was a member here until her death. Mary’s faith in God was great, long, and strong, and she shared it with everyone. She was active in her faith community, serving on the church council and various committees, providing childcare in the nursery Sunday mornings and stuffing envelopes when needed. No task was too great or too small. When the church joined the Portland Organization Project, Mary was very involved, attending house meetings, individual meetings, and large events to show strength in numbers. Mary put her faith into action. She lived it.

Mary lived most of her life in Portland. As a small child, her family lived in Bremerton, WA for a few years, then moved back to Portland. She attended Jefferson Highschool but did not graduate. As an adult, she went to Portland Community College cascade campus, earned her GED and took one term of college courses before returning home to care for her children. Later in life, she again returned to school, enrolling in the Radio Broadcasting Program at Mt Hood Community College, earning her associate degree.

Mary loved music. Her preferred genres were rhythm & blues, soul, and jazz. She could tell you the title, artist, and recording label, and year of release of almost any song in those genres. Mary knew her music! Music was a constant companion in her life, beginning at about age four. Music could comfort her, soothe her, give her words to express a broken heart, or the pain she felt. It could lift her up when she was down, help her celebrate, and oh yes, to party and dance! Mary had songs to get her through every emotion. It spoke to her and touched her soul.

Music accompanied her on her journey through life, all the way to the end. It never let her down, and always made her happy.

Mary was most proud of raising her daughters to be the women they are. Hopefully, she was proud of the example she set. To put Christ at the head of your life, and to put other’s needs ahead of your own. Mary was always taking care of others; quite often to her own detriment, but she didn’t know how to do it any other way. When trying to decide how she could best help someone, or how and when to discontinue helping someone, she would say something akin to “Christ would do this for them”, or “Christ wouldn’t do that to them”. She truly endeavored to live her life as Christ would have her live it.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Southern Poverty Law, KBOO Radio, KMHD Radio, Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon Humane Society, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, March 30th at 3 PM , located at :

Leaven Community/Salt & Light Lutheran Church ELCA

5431 NE 20th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lynn (Drake) Payne, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

Leaven Community/Salt & Light Lutheran Church

431 Northeast 20th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232

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