Mrs. Michelle (Payne) Ward Nolan, 52, passed away with her loved ones by her side, after a courageous battle with cancer, Wednesday, November 10, 2021.
Michelle was born in New Hartford, October 17, 1969, the youngest of four children to Robert A. and Joan (Stadt) Payne. She was raised and educated in North Utica and a graduate of Notre Dame High School. Following high school, she attended SUNY at Utica/Rome, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies and Business Management. She later attended SUNY at Oneonta, receiving a Master of Science and Education. Michelle possessed a lifelong passion for learning, and was currently attending Nova Southeastern University, anticipating completion of her Doctorate of Philosophy A.B.D., in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
Michelle had an extensive work career beginning at Mohawk Valley Community College, as Assistant to the Director of Student Activities, and later at Herkimer Valley Community College, first as Admissions Assistant and later Assistant to Dean of Academic Affairs. Michelle then took a position at Utica College, as Director of eLearning Student Support and progressing to Director of Administrative Services; she then worked as an adjunct professor at MVCC. She currently worked for the American Red Cross, as a Disaster Workforce Engagement Specialist, organizing disaster scenes throughout the country.
At one time, Michelle was married to Robert Ward and from that union came her two adored children. She currently shared a long and loving relationship with Scot Nolan, of Little Falls, and they were just married on, July 23, 2021.
Always community minded, Michelle was very active at Historic Old St Johns Church, where she served on the church council and was active in their toy drive. She was a member and past president of the North Utica/Whitestown Rotary Club; a member of the Central New York Vision Foundation Board of CABVI; a member of the Herkimer County Risk Assessment Committee; a member of the Diocesan of Albany Catholic Charities Re-Design Committee; and a director of the board, as well as, past President and Vice President of the Herkimer County Catholic Charities.
A very loving mom, Michelle was active with all her children and stepchildren’s activities; always first to volunteer for school functions and was always hands on when it came to her daughter’s drama and her son’s soccer endeavors; and she was the loudest mom in the stands!
She also loved the outdoors and would look forward to spending time with her dad at the Black River camp. Michelle loved spending time with family; her siblings were her best friends, and her nieces and nephews were like her own kids. Family gatherings at her mom and dad’s home were some of her best times and you could always count on her to do the cleanup.
Michelle is survived by her beloved parents; Bob and Joan; her husband, Scot; her two children, Mikayla Ward and Joshua Ward; two stepchildren, Natalie Nolan and Olivia Nolan; brother and sister-in-law, Robert III and Lisa Payne; sister and brother-in-law, Denise and Steven “Chops” Burline; sister, Deborah Hajdasz and her partner, John Lawendowski; nieces and nephews, Ryan Payne, Nicole and Andrew Citriniti, Jessica Burline and her partner, Danielle Mastraccio, Tija and Ernie Marcello, and Tiffany and Anthony Brandal; great nieces and great nephew, Gianna, Adilena and Landon; cousins; and especially her Aunt Kathy, with whom she shared a special and loving bond.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, at 11 a.m., at Historic Old St. Johns Church. The family will receive visitors prior to mass from 10 to 11 a.m., at the church.
In memory of Michelle, please consider the needs of her children, as a trust fund will be established for them. Envelopes will be available at church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michelle (Payne) Ward Nolan, please visit our floral store.
Michelle Ward Childrens' Family Trust - checks payable to Denise Burline