Nancie Payne

Birth:  8/29/1952

Death:  12/27/2015

Service Information:

A mass will be held at noon on Monday, January 4, 2016 at St. Michael Parish in Olympia with a reception immediately following in the Gathering Space.


Nancie will be laid to rest at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Tumwater, Washington.


Nancie Payne, 63, of Tumwater, Washington, died December 27, 2015 after a six-year battle with cancer.

She was born on August 29, 1952 in Salem, Oregon, and adopted by DeWayne and Florence Peterson. She was preceded in death by her husband of 35 years, Richard Payne; her parents and her adoptive brother, John. Nancie is survived by her daughter, Angela, and her son Issak , of Tumwater; and her son Chris, his wife Jennifer and their two children, Ashleigh and Caden, all of Haymarket, Virginia.

Nancie completed her undergraduate degree at Evergreen State College. She then went on to earn her Master of Science in Organizational Development and Human Resource Management from Chapman College and obtained her Doctorate in Education/Postsecondary Adult Learning from Capella University. Nancie was very proud of her educational accomplishments as she struggled with learning over her lifetime.

Nancie started her career at the Urban League in Tacoma moving to Community Action Council in 1980. In 1988, she opened Payne & Associates, a business dedicated to supporting positive learning environments for adults with non-apparent disabilities. As a nationally recognized consultant and trainer, Nancie dedicated her life’s work to maximizing the potential of others.  Her affiliations include President, Board of Directors, Learning Disabilities Association of America; active member of Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Consortium (CASAS); and member of the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE). Nancie was also very involved with organizations in her community, including serving as a board member for the Economic Development Council and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council.

Nancie was a dedicated member of St. Michael Catholic Church in Olympia, where she was involved with the choir as a member and a cantor for over 25 years. Music had a special place in Nancie’s heart and she immensely enjoyed being a part of the St. Michael’s family.

In lieu of flowers, Nancie requested that donations be made to the Learning Disabilities Association of America or St. Michel Catholic Church Shoulder to Shoulder program.

Please leave memories of Nancie or condolences for her family in the Guestbook below.








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39 responses to “Payne, Nancie”

  1. Fernette Eide says:

    Nancie was an inspirational woman who helped many in our dyslexia community. She was generous, perceptive, and a fighter for the rights of others. We are grateful to know her. She has an incredible legacy.

  2. Terryll Bailey says:

    I will miss my friend and colleague Nancie. She was the consummate professional—highly intelligent, great communicator, high integrity, very collaborative, yet willing to lead and take a stand when needed. She cared deeply for those who were disadvantaged in any way, and always had a kind or humorous word at the ready. She was a good friend, generous with her time and caring and an inspiration through her faith, her open heart and the love she shared with all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  3. Sarah Hazen says:

    I knew Nancie through the woman who was the head of my school, The Lab School of Washington. I knew her from her association with Sally Smith, and her legacy for helping people with Learning Disabilities. Nancie, it was wonderful to work with you, if even for a short time. I saw much of Sally Smith in you. Thank you so much for helping me, You will be greatly missed. I know that you passed on being proud of me.

  4. Julie Jacob says:

    Nancie was a friend, employer, and colleague as we worked together over the years. I will miss her tremendously. My heart goes out to her children, Angie and Chris. Your mother was an amazing, impactful person!

  5. Sue A. Young-Harmon says:

    I had the honor of training with Nancie for several years. She was brilliant and I will continue to use the many tools she taught me throughout my teaching career. She will be greatly missed.

  6. Christopher Lee says:

    My dear friend and colleague. I will miss you.

  7. Susan Sanchez says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Nancie’s family and friends. She was a lovely trainer; she loved her students and her work. Very inspirational! She will be greatly missed.

  8. Jane Eguez says:

    The CASAS Consortium mourns the passing of Nancie. As a national CASAS Policy Council member, she actively guided and nudged the development of CASAS over many years. Her many contributions were invaluable – always positively advocating and suggesting better ways to assess and instruct people who are learning disabled and those seeking employment. Her annual training sessions at the CASAS Summer Institute were always packed – sharing her expertise and passion for learners. May her memory continue to inspire us as her life did.

  9. Joni Olson says:

    Nancie had a soft heart and was always ready to help the less fortunate. She generously shared her time and talent to the youth we served. Her spirit remains in all the people she touched in her lifetime.
    Nancie had a strong faith that carried her through difficult times. May she rest in peace in her Father’s arms.

  10. June Justice Crawford says:

    Nancie provided much advice and assistance to the federal government, through the National Institute for Literacy, when we were developing the Bridges to Practice materials for the training of adult educators. She unselfishly gave of her time and talents and provided additional guidance for many of the trainers. The field of adult education is richer because of her dedication to the work of providing practical and helpful ways of teaching to adults with learning disabilities. My sincere condolences to the family and to her many friends who depended on her for inspiration. We will all miss her.

  11. Laurie Martin says:

    I am so saddened to learn of Nancie’s passing. She was a dedicated champion for people with special learning needs, and the hole she left behind is enormous. She was a masterful trainer and teacher, a consummate professional, and a warm and generous colleague. I will miss her humor and her spirit. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

  12. Glenn Young says:

    Nancie and I worked for an number of years on the issues of adults with Learning Disabilities. She was truly the vanguard if not potentially the founding spirit of the movement. She and I shared some common early life experiences in both of us growing up LD in an age where almost was nothing was known about the issues. Thanks to her work living without that knowledge should be greatly reduced.

    Through her business and extraordinary training skills, and what also appeared to be her endless level of energy … she made the issue one of major national concern. Much of the work I was able to do as with the National Institute for Literacy and the US Dept of Education was built upon her foundation.

    Her voice and spirit will be missed so much. However the millions of people affected by her life will continue to benefit from her work.

    Thank you Nancie

    Glenn Young
    Former National LD Expert for the National Institute for Literacy
    and Office of Vocational and Adult Education (US Dept of Ed.) and
    Former board member of the LDAA.

  13. Sarah Goldammer says:

    My sympathies to Nancie’s family. I am one of the many people blessed to know Nancie’s wit and wisdom. Nancie has made the world a better place by sharing her knowledge and encouraging those of us attempting to learn from her and to emulate her kind and comprehensive approach to helping others learn and develop.

  14. Bevan Gibson says:

    I had the privilege of knowing and working with Nancie in the state of Illinois for a long time. Her work developing the Payne Learning Needs Inventory and training with Neil Sturomski has helped many adult education students who struggle with learning difficulties. She will be missed in the profession and as a friend to many.

  15. Ed Brewster says:

    Nancie was an outstanding teacher, leader, and most importantly a caring human being. Her work always focused on how to bring the best outcomes to the most people. Her positive, empathic attention to improving life for everyone around her is a model for us all. The world will miss Nancie’s presence and work, and I’ll miss seeing her smiling face.

  16. Denise Clark says:

    When I heard of her passing my heart broke. My first thoughts were to her family, then to the loss in our community. She was a great advocate, mentor and friend to many. My thoughts and prayers are with her family! Nancie you touched so many lives in such positive ways. You will be missed!

  17. Sandra Miller says:

    I will miss my talks over tea with Nancie; I felt such privilege when I got to spend one-on-one time with her. And when she was with you, she was present, attentive, and giving. Nancie had a beautiful heart and so willingly shared of her time and talents. She helped my family and my son’s school better understand his needs and better ways of working with him. He is 15 now and doing very well. In great part to her and her counsel. I am grateful to have known Nancie and will forever keep her in my heart with great fondness and appreciation.

  18. Nadine Townsend says:

    I had the wonderful privilege attending workshops taught by Ms. Payne and learned so much from her. She was such a blessing.

  19. Cal Crow says:

    Whoever said, “No one is irreplaceable,” didn’t know Nancie. What a gem! We began as colleagues about thirty years ago, and soon became friends. That was Nancie’s way. Thoughtful, creative and bright, she brought perspectives to situations that no one had considered before. The Center for Learning Connections is clearly stronger because of our relationship with Nancie.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all family and friends who knew and loved Nancie. How we will miss her!

  20. Beth McGaw says:

    Nancie touched the lives of many. We will miss her leadership, wise insight and encouragement at LDA. Sending prayers to her family members during this most difficult time.

  21. James R. Koller, Ph.D. says:

    It is with significant sorrow that I hear that Nancie has died. Nancie was a good friend, colleague and professional for many years. We participated in many joint conferences throughout the United States on a variety of topics especially Specific Learning Disabilities. Nancie made a huge impact on helping others in need- she is, and will be sorely missed by friends, colleagues and all of those she assisted to make their life more meaningful and fulfilling.
    One of Nancie”s strong characteristics was her faith in the Lord. i have no doubt that she is with the good Lord- where we all hope to be one day. May the Lord bless her always!

  22. Mike Hickman says:

    Nancie’s tremendous contributions to our world weren’t limited to serving adults. Over the years she helped many of us who work with youth understand the non-apparent disabilities that often create barriers to their success in the education programs we operate. The strategies Nancie shared with us for helping these youth overcome their barriers were just like her – direct, compassionate, and effective. The lives of thousands have been improved through her efforts, and countless more lives will be improved in the future as we all carry her mission forward.

  23. Jimmy Norcross says:

    Chris: I’m so sorry for your loss. If there is anything I can do for you back here, just let me know. I’ll do anything. Thinking about you and your family.

    Jimmy Norcross

  24. Michelle Smith says:

    My deepest sympathy for the family during this time of grief. The bible says , ” Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Mat 11:28-30. Amen.

  25. Michael Tate says:

    In Japan, they recognize an individual’s exceptional achievement by granting the title “National Treasure”. Nancie is one of our National Treasures. She made sure that teachers in the adult education and literacy field in this state and all over the USA had a tool chest full of strategies and approaches to insure their students with learning disabilities would be successful. I was most impressed by her ability to balance social justice issues with integrity and rigor. What made Nancie such a great leader was that she was committed to preserving the dignity of people with disabilities, so she would never entertain any demeaning quick-fixes or “back doors”. A dream, not a scheme, to paraphrase Martin Luther King. Peace and succor to all.

  26. Kathy Manning says:

    The world is now short one big heart and beautiful voice. Nancie sang for us all and spoke for those with learning disabilities and other disadvantaged people. She was compassionate and wise. I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of us all. I am glad her physical struggles are over. May she rest with God and her loved ones. May God comfort all hearts that grieve.

  27. Myrna Soule says:

    Nancie will definitely be missed as she was one of the few who helped adults with learning disabilities. But, also because she was a real friend. She had trouble learning but she was a very wise woman and an excellent leader. She left us way too soon. I will have many fond memories when I think of her. May each of you experience God’s comfort and love.

  28. Tami Garrow says:

    Nancie was a lovely person, inside and out. She had a warrior’s heart and a warrior’s spirit, never giving up and setting an example for all of us on how to be a better human being. She was one of my very favorite people, and I will miss her. When Nancie asked, “How are you?” she really meant it. She listened, cared and loved. God will enjoy her wit and wisdom. I surely did, and am so thankful for that. My heart goes out to her family, whom she loved very much. God walk with you all.

  29. Tiffany scroggs says:

    Nancie’s unwavering dedication to her work was an inspiration to me. She was always available to mentor and support others. She will be dearly missed.

  30. Renee Sunde says:

    Nancie was an inspiration to everyone she came in contact with. She had a way of imparting worth and value to the people that were fortunate to know her. Her kindness and warmth will forever be remembered in my heart. I know she is resting in the arm’s of her Heavenly Father – her faith was her foundation. All our love Renee and Dan Sunde

  31. Mike Kennedy says:

    I was blessed to have Nancie as my friend, my boss, mentor, and colleague. She was one-of-a-kind!
    She was a very humble soul, generous with her time, talent, and resources. Her accomplishments are numerable, but none more important than being a Mom, Nana, and an advocate for those who had no one to fight for them. As we weep for our loss, the angels were delighted to welcome her home. Rest in peace, my friend. I will miss you!

  32. Terri Payne says:

    She will be missed by many. May she rest in peace. Chris, Angie and your families are in my thoughts. Love you all.

  33. Stephanie Scott says:

    There are no truer words about Nancie than those said above about devoting her life to maximizing the potential of others. Her legacy will live on in the lives and work of all she came in contact with. I hope she is dancing with her husband in heaven. Prayers and heart felt sympathy for her family and friends– she was truly a remarkable woman. What a life well lived.

  34. Jennie says:

    I worked for Nancie for six years and before the office closed we really were a team working together. She had high expectations for quality of service and expected 100%. I became a better employee and learned more from her then I can ever express. I pray for peace and healing for all who loved her, she will be deeply missed.

  35. Jeanne Asher says:

    Nancie was a wonderful and unique individual. Her dedication and commitment to the field of Learning for individuals with differences was immense. Her shining smile and winning ways will be missed forever. Rest in Peace, Nancie.

  36. Patti White says:

    Nancie has been my friend and mentor for almost 25 years. I would not be the person I am today – nor have the job I have – without her continued support, guidance, and love. She was truly one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known, and her impact on the field of teaching adults with learning disabilities will continue for many, many years. I sure will miss that smile – it’s the best! My thoughts and prayers are with Angie, Issak, Chris, Jennifer, Ashleigh and Cayden as they find that place in their hearts where Nancie will stay with them forever.

  37. Debbie Burk says:

    I had the pleasure of working with her over the years and she will truly be missed.
    Sending thoughts and prayers to the family!

  38. Jeannie House says:

    The news of Nancie’s passing brought tears to my eyes – Nancie Payne was one of those rare people who make an impact on everyone they meet! I admired her greatly for her laughter, wisdom and her ability to help me always to see situations and people in a different way! My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  39. Karen Kalish says:

    Nancie was such a special person. She was always willing to educate others on hidden disabilities as an expert in her field. Nancie had a kind and assertive demeanor. Over the years, I learned much from Nancie. She will be missed.

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