Davis & Elkins College’s Dr. Gloria M. Payne died Oct. 10

Dr. Gloria M. Payne

West Virginia educator involved with D&E for 72 years; many as chair of the Business Administration and Economics Department

The Inter-Mountain and WV Press Report

ELKINS, W.Va. — Dr. Gloria Marquette Payne, 98, of Elkins, professor emeritus of Davis & Elkins College and a mentor to generations of students, died Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.

Dr. Gloria M. Payne

Chris A. Wood, president of Davis & Elkins College, spoke of her death to college and community:

“It is with a heavy heart that I share that Dr. Gloria Payne, professor emeritus of Davis & Elkins College, passed away Saturday evening in the arms of her daughter, Debbie Fragale, and others whom she loved. Dr. Payne’s long and distinguished career at Davis & Elkins impacted the lives of countless people, particularly her beloved students who have remained close to her over many decades,” Wood said, adding, “Dr. Payne was a beloved member of the college family for over 72 years, serving as chair of the Business Administration and Economics Department; and, mentoring generations of students.

“On behalf of the D&E community, Lisa and I express our sadness at this loss for Debbie and us all, and yet celebrate 98 years of faithful living. Her legacy lives on in her students and at Davis & Elkins College,” Wood said.

Due to the coronavirus, a private funeral service will be held for the family on Friday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. Interment will follow in Saint Brendan Catholic Cemetery.

The service will be live-streamed for all to view at https://youtu.be/DofeJCvzONI.

See The Inter-Mountain’s coverage of community member comments: https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2020/10/dr-paynes-legacy-celebrated/

A celebration of Dr. Payne’s legacy and life will be held at a later date.

Payne was preceded in death by her parents Tony and Rosalyn Marquette; her husband Carl Payne; her sisters Mary Jane Carrico (Cliff) and Lorrayne Mc Gee (James); and her grandson Austen Wesley Moore.

She is survived by her daughter, Debbie (Payne) Fragale (Dean); many nieces and nephews, Joann Gabel (Paul), Jane Dennie (John), Dr. David Mc Gee (Madison), Mark Carrico, Jaime Cupp (Phil), and Abi Oyewole (Andrea)  Great nieces and nephews: Jason Gabel, Melissa Terry, Lora White, Marin Rogers, Kaelyn Feliciano, and Braydon Dennie, Leesa Ice, Marissa Ice, and Sophie Cupp. Courtney Ranson, Grant Cupp and Brice Cupp, Katherine (Kat) Ortiz, Christiana and Alex Fragale plus several great-great nieces and nephews also survive Payne.

The following information is from her obituary:


Gloria was born on Dec. 23, 1921, to Tony and Rosalyn (Susie) Marquette in Elkins.  

Gloria dedicated many years to educating students as a Davis & Elkins professor, where she was the chair of the Business Administration and Economics Department. An inspiring educator all her life, Gloria worked for the college for over 72 years and is the school’s longest employee on record. 

She was a graduate of Elkins High School, Davis & Elkins College, West Virginia University, and University of Pittsburgh.  She also undertook additional studies at many additional schools, including but not limited to the New York School of Design, Marshall University, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Gloria’s many professional memberships included Phi Beta Lambda, Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Alpha Delta Kappa, International Who’s Who of Professionals, Who’s Who in United States Executives, Beta Sigma Phi International, Business and Professional Women’s Club, Mountain State Economics Association, State Economics Association, Distinguished West Virginian Award and West Virginia Hall of Fame. 

Gloria’s many stellar accomplishments and awards include: Humanitarian Award IOOF Lodge, the National Award of the Association for Career and Technical Education, which is the group’s highest honor, recipient of the Celebrate Women Award, WBOY Citizen of the Week, WV Women’s Hall of Fame, Distinguished Alumnus Award from Davis & Elkins College, TSBEA Service Award, BPPW Millennium Award, Area Community Service Award from Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Region 1 winner for National Vocational Teacher of the Year, Sears Award for Outstanding Educator, Educator of the Year Women’s Club Federation, Woman of the Year in Education, Educator of the Year for WWA and WVBEA, AAUN Outstanding Educator, The Crystal Mace Award, Hall of Fame Women’s Commission, and the first endowed chair in Business and Economics at Davis & Elkins College – the James S. McDonnell Foundation Chair. 

A longtime philanthropic member of the Elkins community, Gloria dedicated many hours to community service. A lifelong member of St. Brendan’s Catholic Church, she served as president of the Parish Council. Gloria also served as the first woman on the Board of Directors for Memorial General Hospital. In addition, Gloria was the president of the Randolph County Vocational Schools Advisory Board for Business.

Involved with the Mountain State Forest Festival for many years, she served at the Forest Festival Parade Marshal in 2016. In addition, she was involved with the state Welfare to Work program, and Randolph County YouthBuild.

Gloria was also the owner of several businesses in Elkins. Her kindness was legendary because she was always helping others with gifts of her time and treasure. Her love of humanity will always be remembered.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Austen Moore Scholarship Fund, 301 Davis St., Elkins, WV, 26241 or Davis & Elkins College, 100 Campus Drive, Elkins, WV 26241 in memory of Dr. Payne.

The Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for Dr. Gloria Marquette Payne. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.tomblynfuneralhome.com.

Expressions of condolence may also be sent to Debbie Fragale at 9970 Ford Valley Lane, Zionsville, IN, 46077-8349.


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