Elizabeth Brown Payne


Elizabeth Brown Payne, age eighty-two, died on October 19, 2020, in southern California. Although she was a longtime resident of Bainbridge Island, Washington, Libby was a California native. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley.

After college, Libby moved to Aspen, Colorado, where she met and married James Jay Payne. Several years later, they moved west, settling in the Seattle area. She worked in sales, specializing in fine cookware, while supporting her husband. She also took care of a series of gentle dogs and famously fierce cats.

Libby’s love of cooking inspired her to launch her own catering side-business, which she ran for several years. She had a special fondness for French cuisine; Jay, a self-professed poet, accompanied her on trips to France.

After Libby’s retirement, she stayed close to home on Bainbridge Island. When she experienced some health and cognitive-impairment setbacks, Jay abruptly abandoned her, then divorced her. (His last known whereabouts: playing a didgeridoo in a Washington state care facility.)

After supportive care from her family, Libby relocated to southern California and lived near them in her final years. She is survived by her sister, brother-in-law, nieces, and grand-nephew.

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