Helen Chitiea Payne
FAIRFAX, Va. — Helen Chitiea Payne passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Fairfax, Va., with her daughter by her side, on Dec. 25, 2018.
Born April 29, 1929, in Salem, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Andron and Elisaveta Chitiea.
Helen was a 1947 graduate of Salem High School. As a graduate of the Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing, she had a nursing career that spanned 50 years. She was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force where she served at Kadena AB, Okinawa. Helen traveled extensively as a military wife living in Japan and Germany. In 1966, the Payne family made their home in Fairfax, Va. She had an active nursing career as a public health nurse in Washington, D.C. and village nurse for the State of Alaska. She continued her nursing education by obtaining a master’s degree from Georgetown University specializing in gerontology that led to a position as a clinical nurse specialist for the State of Virginia. Helen also served as a nursing instructor and faculty advisor at Northern Virginia Community College.
Through her warmth and encouragement, Helen inspired countless students by challenging them to strive for excellence as caregivers. She continued challenging herself by accepting a position as a clinical nurse at Piedmont Geriatric Hospital in Burkeville, Va. Three years later she became the director of nursing at the Methodist Home in Washington, D.C., a position that she would retire from years later.
Helen is survived by her three children, Pamela Lee Kirk of Fairfax, Va.; Sam (Eliza) Payne Jr. of San Angelo, Texas and David Andrew Payne of Salt Lake City, Utah; a brother, Andrew J. (Joan) Chitiea of Carlsbad, Calif.; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death was a sister, Georgiana Chitiea Costa; and brother, Nicholas Chitiea.
Helen will fondly be remembered by those who knew and loved her as a woman of strength, warmth, dedication and kindness beyond measure. “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” A private celebration of life will be held with family members at a later date.