Maxwell Louise White Payne, 91, a resident at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, MS, peacefully went to be with her Heavenly Father on June 4, 2023.
Surviving are her sons, Thomas Phillip Payne II and his wife, Nancy, of Bay Village, Ohio, David White Payne and his wife, Gigi, of Bradenton, Florida, Joseph Leamon Payne and his wife, Lisa, of Madison, Mississippi and grandchildren Jenny Polk (Chad), Daniel Payne (Jaynie), Rebecca Brown (Rob), Matthew Payne (Kara), Benjamin Payne, Thomas Phillip Payne III, Christian Payne (Katrina), great-grandchildren Madison Magown, Meredith Magown, Harrison Magown, Libby Blair Payne, Brady Polk, Macy Polk and sister-in-law, Sammie Mattocks (Mickey). She also had many nieces and nephews she deeply loved.
“Max” was born October 18, 1931 to Frank Brooks White and Ollie Mae White in Atmore, AL. It was there where she met Thomas “Pete” Payne and fell in love with the Forestry student from Auburn University at the Little River State Park. In March 1952, she and Pete married, and “Max” became a Navy wife as Pete spent the next couple of years in the US Navy. After his commission ended, Pete worked for International Paper and the couple worked together as a team raising their three sons. In 1985, Pete retired, and he and Max moved to Gulf Breeze, FL, where she lived until 2019.
In 2019, she moved to The Blake of Flowood assisted living facility in Flowood, MS in order to be closer to her Mississippi family and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At The Blake, Max developed many friendships with the other residents and staff and set a loving, Christian example as a prayer warrior for anyone she met. She was a firm believer in the power of prayer and the peace and love of Christ. In May 2023, as her health declined, she moved to St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, MS, which provided her with the additional loving medical help she needed.
Max was an avid fan of SEC football. First and foremost was her love for the Auburn Tigers. Her beloved Pete and their first two sons, Thomas and David, were Auburn graduates. After her third son, Joseph, graduated from Mississippi State, she then also became an avid Mississippi State Bulldog fan. In the fall of each year while living at The Blake, she would make sure that her family would give her the SEC lineup for the next day (exact kickoff times and which channel). On Saturdays, you would find her sitting in her chair with an Auburn blanket in her lap intently watching the games. And if you weren’t there, you’d always know what the score was, as she would text family members when a big play occurred. To her sons’ dismay, they learned she was also a fan of Alabama, Ole Miss, and Florida since she had nephews, nieces, and grandchildren that were fans of those “other” schools. However, her favorite two words remained, “War Eagle!”
Max was preceded in death by her husband Pete, her parents, her brothers, Thomas “Bowser” White and Jack White, and her loving sisters, Mary Melton (Gene) and Ann Downing (Dan). In her last days, she would express many times how she was looking forward to joining her family again in Heaven. On her very last day on earth, she faithfully raised her hand to Jesus as her family sang “Because He Lives” at her bedside.
Her family would like to express their appreciation to Alfredda Preston and the caregivers and nurses at The Blake of Flowood and all the nursing staff at St. Catherine’s Village for the love and care extended to “Max.”
Funeral Service will be held at First Baptist Church Gulf Breeze Florida on June 16, at 11 am. Visitation will begin at 10:15 am. Graveside service will be at Barrancas National Cemetery at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Max to First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze, Florida.