Thomas Frank Payne

Tom Payne died on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City, of metastatic urothelial cancer. He was 76 years old. 

Thomas Frank Payne was born on Sept. 20, 1946, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to James Randolph Payne and Ardelle May. He grew up on Long Island, in Northport, Douglaston and Manhasset. After graduating from Emporia College in Kansas, after spending his junior year in Mexico City, he taught science and shop at Buckley Country Day School in Roslyn, N.Y.

Tom was a carpenter, contractor and lifelong tennis player. He worked in many capacities from the late ’60s to the end of his life. His specialty was historic restoration, working on Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Plum Island, Conklin House in Babylon, Pinelawn Cemetery and Teddy Roosevelt’s home, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay. He took great pride in his craft and was especially gifted at restoring and improving antique houses, working on Long Island, in Massachusetts and his beloved Vermont. Tom’s work reflected his respect for the past. His vision and talent transformed old houses into true homes for new families. 

Tom moved in 2006 to Orient, N.Y., and he and his wife, Amy Worth, opened The South Street Gallery, an art gallery and framing business in Greenport. He worked on historic restoration projects in Greenport, including restoration of the school house and the jail.

Tom’s first marriage in 1978 ended in divorce. In 1984 he married Karen Calahan. Their daughter, Alexandra, born in 1985, was the joy of his life. He married Amy Worth in 2004. 

He is survived by his brother, Bert Payne (Lan); nieces Linda Pego (Chris) and Katherine Cardullo; his wife, Amy Worth; daughter Alex Paolo (Dominic); grandchildren Desmond and Layla Rose; stepchildren Christopher Worth (Kendra), Emma Milovonovic Worth (Ivan) and Jack Worth (Christine); and six step-grandchildren. Tom’s sister, Vicki, and his nephew, Jimmy, predeceased him.

Tom was there, always, for his friends and family. He could be counted on for help, sound advice and support — typically accompanied with humor and sarcastic wit. He was generous with his talent and he proudly passed his knowledge of carpentry on to many of his co-workers and family. Tom was a rock, self-deprecating, hard-working and giving. His large circle of extended family and friends adored him. “The Old Payne” will be forever missed by his daughter, wife and countless family members and friends.

This is a paid notice.