Sept. 14, 2004--Rachel E. Payne, 18, a freshman at the University of Delaware from West Hartford, Conn., died Sept. 12, after being struck by a train.
Born in 1985, she had lived in West Hartford all of her life. A 2004 graduate of William H. Hall High School, she recently began her freshman year at the University of Delaware where she was pursuing her passion for art.
Ms. Payne had received numerous awards for her artistic ability, including the Connecticut Scholastic Art Award for drawing, the Hall High School Art Teachers' Evangeline Ftergiotis Award and an Academic Achievement Award, as well as the Connecticut Art Education Association's 2004 top honor for her exceptional art portfolio. She also was the recipient of a Fine Arts Scholarship to the University of Connecticut.
An obituary published in the Hartford Courant called her a beautiful, loving and talented young lady. She was sensitive, perceptive and had tremendous love of all animals.
According to the newspaper, Rachel was truly happy to be attending the University of Delaware. She had quickly made friends and felt that she had found her niche. To say that Rachel will be sorely missed by a wealth of family and friends that loved her would be a vast understatement.
Ms. Payne is survived by her parents, Nancy Matson Payne of West Hartford; her father, William T. Payne Jr. of West Hartford; and her older brother, Andrew William Payne, also of West Hartford, as well as her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William E. Matson of Hampstead, N.C.; her grandmother, Mrs. William T. Payne of Thompson, Conn.; her uncle, Steven Stang and his wife, Macil, of Simsbury, Conn.; her aunt, Florence Payne, of Thompson, Conn.; and her uncle, Russell Matson, and his wife, June, of Eliot, Maine, as well as five first cousins.
Friends may call at the Molloy Funeral Home, 906 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, from 5-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 15. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 280 Boulevard, West Hartford, with burial immediately following the ceremony in the Simsbury Cemetery, Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in Ms. Payne's memory to the University of Delaware Art Department, Visual Communications, and sent in care of the Office of University Development, 109 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE 19716.
Online remembrances and condolences may be made at [www.molloyfuneralhome.com].