Cover photo for Dorothy Marie Payne's Obituary
Dorothy Marie Payne Profile Photo
1931 Dot 2024

Dorothy Marie Payne

December 24, 1931 — February 15, 2024

Denver, CO

Dorothy Marie (Cristelli) (fmn Corona) Payne passed away on the morning of February 15, 2024, at Harvard Square Retirement Memory Care. She was 92 years old. Dot, the name she was commonly called, was born in the small coal mining community of Rugby, which does not exist anymore, but was located near Aguilar, Colorado. 

When Dot was about three years old, the family moved to Florence, Colorado where her father in partnership with his two brothers, established a small grocery store, The Florence Market. Dorothy attended Emerson School in Florence and then attended St. Scholastica Academy for Girls in Canyon City for her high school education, graduating in 1950. She married Tony Corona in 1951 and they lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming and Grand Junction, Colorado, before settling in Denver in approximately 1957. Son, John Charles was born in September, 1952 in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Dot and Tony were divorced in December, 1978. 

Dot married Roland "Joe" Payne on February 12,1983 at the Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, Colorado. They met at work, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management at the Denver Federal Center. Joe was the love of her life and her constant support to the very end. 

Dot was unusual for a woman of her times in that she worked outside the home her entire life. Essentially all of it with the Bureau of Land Management and mostly at the Denver Federal Center. She retired from the BLM in January, 1985 and settled into a new way of life for her, without work, while Joe continued his career with the BLM. She was a housewife for a few years until the new wore off and then after Joe retired in 1991, she found new interests, namely grandchildren, volunteering and travel, particularly cruising. 

Grandchildren on both sides of the family started coming before Joe retired, but they increased rapidly afterwards. Dot loved all her grandchildren regardless of which side of the family they came. All of them would have opportunities to spend a few days each summer with Dot and Joe which led to many opportunities for fun and adventure. 

After Joe retired in 1991, Dot worked at a variety of activities benefiting others, sometimes with Joe and sometimes by herself. She was especially active with their church, Light of the World Roman Catholic Church in both liturgy and outreach roles. 

Dot and Joe did not just do volunteer work and play with grandchildren, they also found opportunities for travel, including cruising. Their travels took them to new places in our own country, as well as many countries around the world.

Unfortunately, Dot's memory started fading about 2014, which resulted in 2023 with Dot moving into Harvard Square Memory Care while Joe went into Assisted Living in a separate building, also at Harvard Square. They saw each other frequently and came to greatly enjoy the "Happy Hours" on Thursdays when they would get to dance with each other to live music. 

She was loved by many and will be deeply missed. 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Marie Payne, please visit our flower store.

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