May 7, 1928 - November 28, 2020
Mrs. Hermine Elvena Payne Stanyard, 92, of Charleston, retired teacher and poet; daughter of the late Samuel Payne and Maybelle Comfort Washington entered into eternal rest on November 28, 2020. The family of Mrs. Hermine Elvena Payne Stanyard, widow of the late Mr. George D. Stanyard, Sr. extends an invitation to her public viewing on Sunday, December 6, 2020, 2:00 – 6:00 pm at the Smith-McNeal Funeral Home, 2119 Dorchester Road, North Charleston, SC. There will be a private family service (by invitation only) and interment on Monday, December 7, 2020. She is survived by her children, Geormine (Alonzo) Stanyard-Crawford and G. Dewey Stanyard; granddaughter, Candice (Megan) Crawford-Zakian; siblings, Cyrus C. (Demetra ) Washington, Sr., Willie Dell (Henry) Taylor and Barbara Payne; godchildren, Antionette E. (William) Bennett-Bluford and Rev. Marionette E. Bennett; in-laws, Eunice Washington, Jenny Lou Washington, John Nathaniel, Thomas and Morris Ashe, Mary Brown, Rose Whitney and Glenemae Johnson; a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family request that you make a donation to: IAAM indicating that it is in honor of Hermine P. Stanyard. Online gifts may be made here: https://55170.blackbaudhosting.com/55170/General-Donation/ Checks should be made payable to the International African American Museum and mailed to: Post Office Box 22761, Charleston, SC 29413. Friends and Family, To view ”virtually” the Celebration of Life service for Mrs. Hermine P. Stanyard, to be held on Monday, December 7, 2020 at 11am – please view via Zoom link (password included) below or via Facebook Live link below on the Morris Street Baptist Church FB page below. Thank you for your support of our family during this difficult time. Warmest Regards, The Family of Hermine P. Stanyard Zoom link: Topic: Celebration of Life - Hermine P Stanyard Time: Dec 7, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86782707893?pwd=TTdUOHJUaTRaZGZlK2lwSWU3Z1FUdz09 Meeting ID: 867 8270 7893 Passcode: 823690 Meeting ID: 867 8270 7893 Passcode: 823690 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcmpsDexC6 FB Page for Morris Street Baptist Church: https://m.facebook.com/MorrisStreetBaptistChurch/ Obituary for HERMINE ELVENA PAYNE STANYARD “A Sweetgrass Celebration” Hermine Elvena Payne Stanyard was born May 7, 1928, to Maybelle Comfort and Samuel Payne, on Minority Street (now George Street) in Charleston, South Carolina. The Creator of All called her home on November 28, 2020. Hermine was raised in Charleston by her mother and stepfather, William Washington, along with her seven younger siblings. She was also the eldest of her father’s eight children, who lived in Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in a loving and supportive extended family and community of well-wishers. As the eldest, she played a major role in her younger siblings’ lives. As a child and youth, Hermine attended Sunday School and church services at St. John’s Reformed Episcopal Church and Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. Bright and serious-minded, she excelled academically at Buist Elementary and Burke High School. Shortly before graduation, her Burke guidance counselor suggested a middle name (Elvena) for her high school diploma. After graduating from Burke with salutatorian honors, Hermine continued her education at South Carolina State College (“SCSC”) where she also graduated with honors, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in English in 1949.While attending SCSC, she was a scholarship recipient, member of the Homecoming Queen’s Court, and member of the Criterion Club. Following graduation, Hermine began her career as a teacher at Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina, as a resident of the “Teacherage.” She later obtained her Master of Arts from New York University and furthered her educational studies at the College of Charleston and the Citadel. As a youth and young adult, Hermine spent many summers living and working in New York. She even worked as a Camp Counselor with the New York Tribune Fresh Air Fund in Fishkill, NY, and was active in many outdoor activities such as canoeing (despite not being a good swimmer). While in high school, Hermine caught the eye of a handsome, bright, future fellow educator, George Dewey Stanyard. After a few visits to the “Teacherage” in Florence , George-- donning his Sunday best-- obtained permission from his future mother-in-law to officially court Hermine. Following their courtship, George and Hermine wed on June 9, 1956. The wedding took place in the then St. John’s Reformed Episcopal Church building, now demolished. The beautiful irony is that the wedding was held on the same block where they would eventually reside as a family for almost 50 years. George and Hermine’s union was blessed with two children: Geormine Deweya and George Dewey, Jr. Soon after her marriage, Hermine joined Morris Street Baptist Church (“MSBC”), where she was a devout and hard-working member of the congregation. She was a member of the Hour of Power, Mass and Senior Choirs – occasionally a soloist. Additionally, she served as Chair of the Drama Committee for over 40 years, directing multiple productions with all age groups. Her ministry of church theater touched the lives of many congregants during her years of service. She has been recognized by MSBC for her stellar service as a member, including the honor of “Mother of the Year,” on May 2, 1985. Hermine was an effective and versatile educator who worked at Laing High School and later at the now Laing Middle School, for more than 30 years. She served as English teacher, Reading Specialist, and Guidance Counselor. Many former students fondly recount the seriousness and firmness of Mrs. Stanyard. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Hermine also mentored many young teachers, aides and students. On November 22, 1975, Hermine was initiated as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in the Charleston Alumnae Chapter. A Golden Life member, she served in many capacities and on numerous committees, including: Chapter Vice President 1992-1994; Historian 1994-1998; Arts and Letters; Delta Tones; Founders Day; Fundraising; and May Week. She shined her bright light on the Arts and Letters Committee for many years, including service at the National Level. The Charleston Alumnae Chapter honored Hermine with the Delta of the Year award in 1983. Over the years, Hermine had the opportunity to attend many Delta Sigma Theta Regional and National Conventions-- many with her daughter Geormine, who is also a Delta. In 2013, Hermine had the once-in-a-lifetime and “fortuitous” experience to attend the Delta Centennial National Convention in Washington, DC, where both her children still reside today. Family unity was demonstrably embraced when her son Dewey followed his father’s path by becoming a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In addition to education and Greek life, Hermine shared her passion of the Arts with both her children, encouraging them to explore their talents in and appreciation of the arts (music, dance, theater and writing). Hermine is a published poet, having authored two poetry books: My Lingering Thoughts (1992) and Verses for You and Me (1995). Her work reflects the arc of her life in the “lowcountry” and uniqueness of life in Charleston. She was a stalwart advocate for the continuing culture of sweetgrass basket-making and the need for land access to resources. This advocacy was a focal point in her poetry and story-telling performances. Hermine has shared and read her poems throughout the lowcountry at cultural festivals, including the Piccolo Spoleto Sundown Poetry Series and the MOJA Arts Festival’s Storytelling and Poetry Series. She especially loved performing at the Dock Street Theatre. She was most honored when Moja acknowledged her works with the Arts Community Award in 1997. Her poem, “Seed of Peace,” inspired baritone singer and composer Trevor Weston to write his first composition after 9/11 as the 5th and last movement of a longer work entitled “Evening Songs.” A believer in the importance of advocacy and community engagement, Hermine held memberships in the NAACP (life member), YWCA, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club, South Carolina Poetry Society, South Carolina Education Association (SCEA), National Education Association (NEA), Charleston Civic Ballet Board of Directors, and the South Carolina State University Alumni Association. She was also a principal in a book club with other like-minded friends for decades. After retiring from teaching, she served as a docent with the Avery Research Center - College of Charleston and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. Most weekends, whether busy or not (and usually the former), you could find Hermine preparing breakfast by frying fish and cooking shrimp and grits, or for dinner, preparing okra soup for family and friends. She also loved baking biscuits for the “sick and shut-in” and drafting her children for the deliveries. Most of all, she loved her plants and flower gardens — enjoying their beauty either quietly or with family and friends. Hermine was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years of marriage, George D. Stanyard, Sr. She leaves to mourn two children: Geormine D. (Alonzo) Stanyard-Crawford and G. Dewey Stanyard, Jr.; granddaughter, Candice (Megan) Crawford-Zakian; siblings: Cyrus C. (Demetra) Washington, Sr., Willie Dell (Henry) Taylor and Barbara Payne; godchildren: Antionette E. (William) Bennett-Bluford and Rev. Marionette E. Bennett; in-laws: Eunice Washington, Jenny Lou Washington, John Nathaniel, Thomas and Morris Ashe, Mary Brown, Rose Whitney and Glenemae Johnson; a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Mrs. Hermine Elvena Payne Stanyard, 92, of Charleston, retired teacher and poet; daughter of the late Samuel Payne and Maybelle Comfort Washington entered into eternal rest on November 28, 2020. The family of Mrs. Hermine Elvena Payne Stanyard,... View Obituary & Service Information
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