Brenda Diann Payne
September 19, 1960 – September 16, 2019
Brenda Diann Payne, 58, of Van Buren, won her three-year long battle with cancer on Monday, September 16, 2019, as she entered into healing rest.
Brenda leaves behind a large and loving legacy of family and friends, most dearly, her husband of 16 years, Mike Payne, and her daughters Allison Foley and April Townzen. She was Mimi to six beloved grandchildren, Aunt Bren to several nieces and nephews, and an honorary mom and sister to countless others.
She was born on September 19, 1960 in Augusta, Kansas to the late Mary Wentz-Arbuckle. She was the youngest, raised and nurtured by her beloved older siblings and relatives, including Donata Marshall, Marti Quallo, Judy Humble, Charles North, Jane Davis, Jeff Marshall, and Maggie Butler.
Brenda was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Parrot Island Waterpark in Fort Smith, where she mentored and inspired employees, co-workers, and business colleagues alike with her kind nature, unwavering smile, and amazing hugs.
Prior to this, she worked at the Holiday Inn City Center for nearly 20 years, starting as an administrative assistant, and working her way up to the Director of Sales position.
She is a past president and former board member of the Fort Smith Noon Exchange Club, and was honored as the 2016 Hometown Hospitality Hero by the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau. Her contributions to the people and community she loved were beyond measure.
The family extends a public invitation to celebrate her beautiful life on Thursday, September 19, 2019, the day of her 59th birthday. A reception will be held at the Riverfront Pavilion in Downtown Fort Smith at 10:00 a.m. Brenda specifically requested that all attendees wear bright colors. She wanted to be remembered with joy.
Cremation is under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren. Flowers may be sent to the funeral home, or directly to the celebration service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith.
Brenda lived a full and happy life. Now, she challenges each of us to do the same as she did: Love deeply, give greatly, and never stop fighting.
- Family-Hosted Celebration Of Life Thursday, September 19, 2019