Viola Payson, 97

Viola M. Payson

MACHIAS — Viola (Mattson) Robbins Payson, RN, 97, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Machias.

She was born in North Quincy, Mass., on April 22, 1920, to John Henry Mattson and Jennie (Kontio) Mattson. Raised in the Finnish farming community of South Harrison, she delighted in exploring the natural world surrounding her farmhouse. After graduating from Bridgton Academy as salutatorian, she trained and graduated from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Portland. After passing her state board exam, she received her Registered Nurse license. Shortly afterward she married John Robinson Robbins of Harrison. In the next three years, while John finished his university and law studies, twin daughters Jeanne and Joanne and sons Joseph Pitts and Charles William were born. In 1953, the family moved to Eastport, where John was appointed by Governor Burton M. Cross to be the Eastport municipal judge. They lived a happy life in Quoddy Village.

After John’s death in 1957, Vi returned to nursing. In 1959, she married James W. Payson, DO, and they moved to Machias. Vi was one of the original staff members of the newly-opened Down East Community Hospital. Leading by example, her professionalism and care inspired other nurses, aides and candy stripers. Later Vi became the evening charge nurse at Marshall Manor. She enjoyed the community chorus, her craft group at church, and the evening enrichment courses at the high school. Annually she helped create the Wild Blueberry Festival quilt. Vi loved her camp at Getchell’s Rips, beachcombing and the Red Sox. She was a well-loved, funny, and vibrant woman.

Vi was predeceased by her husbands, the Honorable John R. Robbins and James W. Payson DO; her parents; her siblings, Aarne, Edna, John, George and David, and a granddaughter, Lauren Robbins Bishop. Celebrating her life are her children, Jeanne R. and husband Capt. Robert J. Peacock of Eastport, with whom Vi lived her last two years, Joanne R. and husband David H. Emus of Hollis, N.H., Joseph P. and wife Gretchen L. Robbins of Winthrop, and Charles W. and wife Dawn T. Robbins of Columbia Falls; grandchildren, Jessica Emus, Samuel Robbins, Sarah Eastman, Anastasia Alter, Jenny Lewandowski and William Bishop; great-grandchildren, Justin, John and Joshua Eastman, Cameron Robbins, Tanner Stevenson, Dana and Naomi Schatz, Mason Alter, Alida Lewandowski, and Teddy and Frances Bishop; Vi’s Mattson nephew and nieces, Paul, Sandra, Viola, Barbara, Kathy and Patsy special friends, Flora, Debbie, Valerie, Mildred, Shirley, Tommy, the McCann family, and her beloved cat, Penni Payson.

A service with Rev. Betty Duzen officiating will be held at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Centre St. Congregational Church in Machias, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Whitneyville Congregational Church or the Whitneyville Library.

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