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Patricia Faye (Payne) Paulk took flight to her heavenly home in the early morning of August 17, 2022. She was the second child born to Theodore and Lorene Payne on June 11, 1944 in the tiny town of Hoffman, Oklahoma.
She was affectionately called Faye by most, Pat by some and Patricia by a few, but she responded to any of the above. No matter which name you knew her by, you knew that she grew up working hard and taking care of others from a very young age, despite her own adversities. She never failed to put others first. She always proudly declared herself a “country girl” who never met a stranger and always beamed with an easy smile and a warm hug.
Upon graduating from high school in 1962, she relocated to Wichita, Kansas, where she met the love of her life Ralph Paulk in the cafeteria at The University of Wichita. They married in 1965, welcomed 3 children together and their love spanned 59 years. Ralph was her constant, devoted companion who remained by her side until she took her last breath.
The couple agreed Faye would be a stay-at-home mom, a role for which she was a natural and loved. She always actively participated in her children’s school activities, chaperoned field trips, baked desserts for school events, participated in PTA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, orchestra, band, and acted as homeroom mother. At one point, her children were in 3 different schools, and she still juggled the role seamlessly. Lisa, Greg, and Shelli always knew to be on their best behavior, because they never knew when mom would show up (unannounced!) at school.
Although their children kept her busy, she found time to pursue her own interests. She loved to take photographs; she was always seen with a camera in her hand to capture a moment, event, or a special occasion. Faye was also quite interested in genealogy, and spent many years talking to family, asking questions, and combing through records for anything she could find and learn. She made and painted ceramics, and proudly displayed some of her work throughout her home. She exhibited select pieces on every holiday, and then carefully wrapped them in protective paper to store until the next holiday.
Faye never boasted or bragged, but her made-from-scratch creations were legendary. She started cooking and baking for holidays days before, staying up into the wee hours of the morning creating biscuits, cornbread, cakes, pies, cobblers and casseroles. This was a labor of love for her. She derived so much pleasure and joy from compliments and appreciation shown from the empty plates or requests for seconds…or thirds!
Faye grew up attending Sunday school and church at the Evening Light Saints Church of God. Despite life’s ups and downs, her love for God and his ability to deliver and heal never diminished. Faye continued being a devoted Christian who enjoyed attending Sunday services, prayer meetings, and church revivals. She always prayed for everyone. While recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), she regretted not being able to attend service for the past several years. One of the first things she wanted to do when her health permitted, was to attend church in person.
Patricia was a loving, thoughtful, and open spirit to everyone blessed to be in her orbit. She was Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Auntie and Granny to so many people. She was a true gift!
Patricia was preceded in death by her only son, Gregory, her sister Janet, and her parents. She leaves to cherish and miss her forever: her loving and devoted husband: Ralph; daughters: Lisa Paulk and Shelli (Tony) Williams; stepson: Rodrick Paulk; grandsons: Korey Woods and Tevin Smith; granddaughters: LaShira and Avi Woods; great-grandchildren: Dar’Chea, Keiona, Cassieus, Doi’Vae and Siera; sisters: Willie Mae Latham, Mary Sue Currin, and Queen Esther (Ira) Shine; brothers: Theodore (Linda) Jr., Paul (Rochelle), and Terry Payne, brother-in-law: Adolphus Paulk, and a host of relatives and friends.