April 2, 1966-May 2, 2020

I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also what love His appearing.    II Timothy 4:7-8

Carolyn Michelle Payne Smith was born to the late Lutrill A. Payne Jr. and Mandy Monroe Payne April 2, 1966, in Natchitoches. She departed this life Saturday, May 2, 2020, at her home in Natchitoches.

At an early age, Carolyn was baptized at First Baptist Church on North Street in Natchitoches and later she and her family joined Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.  After moving back to Louisiana, Carolyn joined fellowship with First Baptist Church on Amulet Street. Carolyn later joined Goodwill Baptist Church in Natchitoches. She also attended North Star Baptist Church in Powhatan with her grandmother.

Blessed with a beautiful voice Carolyn was a faithful member of the Natchitoches Interdenominational Choir under the direction of Ed Ward Jr. in the 1980s. She remained committed to her faith.

After high school, Carolyn returned to Natchitoches to attend Northwestern State University. While there, she joined the membership of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She returned to Texas to begin her career. Carolyn worked for 25 years with the United States Postal Services in Garland, Texas, and Natchitoches. She loved working at the post office, interacting with people and serving others. Carolyn never met a stranger

Carolyn was a dedicated and devoted mother to her son, John Ryan Sibley. Her most recent joy was the birth of her granddaughter, Carlisa Joanne Sibley.  She looked forward to spending time with her new granddaughter. She exclaimed, “No one ever told me it was this wonderful!”

Preceding Carolyn in death were her parents; paternal grandparents, Lutrill Payne Sr. and Pearl Henry Payne; maternal grandmother, Lugena “Mama Dutch” Wafer; and special uncle, Ralph L. Payne Sr.

Carolyn leaves to cherish her memory her son, John Ryan Sibley; brother, Lutrill “Trell” Payne III of Natchitoches; a special sister, Lisa (Austin) Edwards of Waco, Texas; one granddaughter; two special nephews, Ladedrick (Amanda) Williams and Georoyd Whitsey, both of Arlington, Texas; a lifelong friend, Ramona Baptiste of Atlanta, Ga.; two aunts and one uncle, Carolyn (Hershel) White of Atlanta, Ga., and Tena J. Payne of Natchez, Miss.; and a host of cousins, neighbors and friends.

A non-lingering viewing will be at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 318 North St., Natchitoches Saturday, May 9 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  COVID19 regulations must be followed restricting viewing to less than 10 at a time. Graveside services will follow at 1 p.m. in the Lawrence Serenity Sanctum officiated by Bishop William Roberson of North Star Baptist Church, Powhattan.