Alpha Kappa Alpha Soroity Inc. Sigma Omega Chapter
Ivy Beyond the Wall Ceremony – 10:30 A.M.
Anna Louise Childress Payne (nee Gibson) age 99, completed her journey on June 21, 2023, after a wonderful life filled with giving and receiving love.
Anna was born on October 31, 1923, in Americus, Georgia to the late Marcellus and Osceolla (nee Frazier) Gibson. She was the youngest of five children and affectionately called “Doll” by her family; a nickname that stuck with her for the rest of her life.
Anna’s early childhood was spent in Saint Augustine, Florida and later, Cincinnati, Ohio. She returned to the south for high school, graduating from the Henderson Institute in North Carolina in 1942. It was during her high school years that she excelled in athletics and decided on a career in health and physical education.
In 1943, Anna enrolled in Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee where she continued her athletic endeavors. She ran track, was captain of the basketball team and cheerleading squad, became active in modern dance, and even joined the drama club. She graduated in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education.
After graduation, Anna returned to Cincinnati and began teaching in the Parochial School System. She taught at St. Henry Elementary School for four years while taking graduate courses at Xavier University. In 1956 Anna began working in the Cincinnati Public School System. She taught at Samuel Ach Junior High School for one year before being transferred to Robert A. Taft High School. Over the next 26 years, Taft became Anna’s home away from home; the staff and students became a second family. Here she formed relationships that spanned the rest of her life.
During her 26 years at Taft, as a health and physical education teacher, Anna was responsible for the Girls Athletic Association which included coaching all sports – hockey, basketball, volleyball, baseball and track. She was also responsible for the cheerleading squad, drill team and modern dance club. For many years she choreographed The Taft Capades which was known as the best high school variety show in Cincinnati. During her last years at Taft, she was the Senior Class Sponsor, in charge of all of the senior activities and graduation.
After a long and fulfilling career, Anna retired in 1982. In retirement, she continued to be highly respected, honored and loved by her former students and colleagues. She touched so many lives. She rarely went any place without running into a former student who expressed their gratitude for the positive impact she had on their life. Anna’s time and commitment to education was extensive and at times overwhelming but all we ever heard her say was “I loved every minute of it!”.
In 1969, she married her soul mate and best friend Frank Payne. Together they formed a blended family blessed with two children, Sandra (nee Payne) and Glenn Childress, Sr. Anna and Frank’s devotion to each other, for over 52 years, exemplifies how true love, commitment, friendship and putting God at the helm are the ingredients for a successful marriage.
Anna accepted Jesus Christ at an early age. She and Frank continued to practice their faith and serve God at First Baptist Church of Kennedy Heights.
Anna’s giving nature, outgoing personality, love of life and people kept her very engaged. She was an avid bowler, bridge player, and (accompanied by her husband) a world traveler. She enjoyed her former students so much she frequently attended Taft class reunions. She actively participated in numerous charitable and social organizations such as the Cincinnati Chapter of C.H.U.M.S Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Sigma Omega Chapter), Our Gang, and Les Chezettes.
She will be deeply missed by her family, extended family, students, and friends. We take great solace in the life she lived: full of love, nurturing, teaching, giving, helping and enjoying her time here to the fullest.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Sandra Augustine (nee Payne); her parents; and four sibling: Marcellus Gibson Jr. (aka Bubba), Nola Mae Gibson, Mildred Gibson Wynn, and Ralph Gibson.
She is survived by her husband, Frank Payne; son, Glenn Childress, Sr. (E. Kathy); step-son, Omar Childress; two grandchildren, Glenn Childress, Jr. (Toshia) and Mia Dunford; three step-grandchildren: Yolanda Augustine, Kim Augustine, and Angelina Augustine; three great grandchildren: Kailani Childress, Naomi Childress, and Farrah Dunford; nieces: Mildred Gibson, Jaqueline Stephens (Robert), and DeBorah Singleton King; nephews: Marcellus Gibson III, Matt Gibson, Jr., Ralph Gibson (Robin), Charles Gibson, Reginald Fields (Georgianna), and Errol Edwards; first cousins, Minnie Haynes and Gloria Mae Walker; brother-in-law, John Payne; and a host of family and friends.