Margie Payton quietly celebrates 91st birthday
Theodosia resident Margie Payton, who celebrates her 91st birthday on July 30, says she’s still overjoyed by the surprise birthday party her friends at Theodosia United Methodist Church threw for her last year, on her 90th. “It was so extraordinary and wonderful, this year I’m not doing anything. I’m just glad I’m still here,” she said, laughing.
Margie Klorer was born July 30, 1927, the only child of a St. Louis native and a Yugoslav immigrant. Her dad’s job was setting up stores for the Woolworth Corporation throughout the South. She graduated from Rosati Kain, an all-girls school in St. Louis, and met her husband, the late Emmitt “Skip” Payton, a World War II veteran, at the Casa Loma ballroom in St. Louis in 1951. They married in 1952. During their years together in St. Louis, Skip worked as a sales rep for the Schulze and Birch Biscuit Co., and Margie spent 10 years teaching continuing-education classes in the Lindbergh School District: line dancing, calligraphy, shorthand, macrame, ceramics – and sometimes substitute teaching painting and sewing.
While living and working in St. Louis, the Paytons often vacationed on Bull Shoals Lake.They had a vacation home there long before they moved to Theodosia permanently in the early 1990s after retiring from their jobs in St. Louis.
Skip died in 2017. Today, Margie says she’s lonely without him, but she stays busy with several activities, including her work as a professional artist, now specializing in watercolor portraits of dogs, which she paints on commission. She also enjoys spending time with her many friends and is thankful for near-perfect health. “I’m proud of the way I look and feel. I take no medicine. I’m agile and still mow my own yard. I feel like I’m 60,” she said.
She also enjoys frequent visits to see her daughter, professional artist Donna Payton, and her husband, Howard Rosenstein, in Princeton, New Jersey, where Donna teaches at the Princeton Arts Council and serves as an art show curator and judge. Donna’s husband is a physician, and their son, Jason Rosenstein, 24, is CEO of Portion.io, a New York City art auction house.