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Margaret A. Payne, Great-Aunt to the President, Dies in Chapel Hill at 87

By Danny Hooley Posted June 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

An 87-year-old resident of the Cedars in Chapel Hill who passed away on June 18 is survived by a very famous great-nephew.

As first reported by WNCN, Margaret Arlene Payne’s obituary in The News & Observer included two names in Payne’s list of family members whose names should be familiar to a lot of people.

You may have heard of Payne’s niece Stanley Ann Dunham, who died nearly 19 years ago. Even if you haven’t, you’re likely to be familiar with Dunham’s son, Barack Obama.

Payne had a lot more going for her than being the great-aunt of the President of the United States. Her last job, before she retired in 1990, was at UNC, where she worked as a research professor for 10 years.

She began her career in education as a Professor of Nutrition and the Director of the Graduate Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She went on to work as a consultant to the National Education Association. She returned to teaching at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, before finishing her career at UNC.

Payne was the author of two books and several articles about educational curriculum. According to her obituary, she enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Europe. There will be no funeral service.

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