Jeff’s biological mother, Valsey Viola Payne, was born in Corner Brook, NL on March 25, 1931 to George & Annie Payne and baptized at the same church where she would later have Jeff baptized, St. John the Evangelist. We have been unable to locate any photographs from her younger years.
Valsey was the third daughter of eight children born between 1926 and 1937; Mabel, Rose, Valsey, Violet, Alfred, Sylvia, Stella, Calvin. When she was 21 Valsey was working at a boarding house in Corner Brook and living at home with her parents and siblings as well as several nieces and nephews. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer and it was all her father could do to manage his home, dying wife, children and grandchildren.
Mabel got pregnant four months before Valsey, gave birth to a son she named Tom Arnott, but like many Newfoundlanders in the early 1950s contracted TB and died. Tom, Jeff’s first cousin, was also given up for adoption. Like Jeff, he was adopted by an American Air Force couple and brought back to the states. Like Jeff, he lived in Florida and Hawaii at different times in his life. His adopted name is Ron Thomas and we had the interesting pleasure of meeting him in May while visiting our son in Los Angeles. TB affected so many isolated coastal communities in NL that a floating TB clinic was established on a former US Naval ship renamed the “Christmas Seal” It visited over 100 communities in 1951.
The obituary that led us to Jeff’s siblings is below.
DOMINIX, Valsey Viola
Date of Birth: Wednesday, March 25th, 1931
Date of Death: Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Funeral Home: Central Funeral Homes
It is with great sadness that the family of the late Valsey Viola Dominix (Payne) announce her passing at the Carmelite Palliative Care Unit in Grand Falls-Windsor on September 19, 2013 at the age of 82. Predeceased by her husband Hubert; parents George and Annie May Payne; Stella, Mabel, Rosie, Violet, Calvin and Sonny.Left with fond and loving memories are son George (Sue) of Grand Falls-Windsor and daughter Elaine (Sean) Thorne of Grand Falls-Windsor. Also leaving to mourn are sister Sylvia Allen; grandsons Joseph, Dylan and Brandon; granddaughter Alaine and great-grandson Ethan. Reverend Randy Lockyer will conduct the funeral service at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church on September 22, 2013 at 2:00 P.M. Interment will be at the Anglican Cemetery. Pallbearers are Tom Arnold, Craig McCrae, Carl Thorne, Greg Pumphrey, Lloyd Brake and Clyde Wells. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jim Maidment of Central Funeral Homes.