Katheryn Quarles

May 15, 2020


Ms. Katheryn Drexel Payne Quarles of Tampa passed away Friday, May 15, 2020. Due to the CDC guidelines the funeral services will be closed to the public.  Ms. Katheryn Drexel Payne was the daughter of Thomas and Ada Payne. 

She is predeceased by her three sisters, Elizabeth Morris, Martha Kenney and Theresa Huntley.  Katheryn grew up in and attended St. Paul A.M.E. Church and was pianist and organist at St. Paul for many years. 

She began working when she was 12 years old at Central Life Insurance Company until she graduated from high school. Katheryn graduated at the age of 16 from George H. Middleton School and attended Bethune Cookman College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in music.  She was the recipient of the Bethune Cookman Silver Cup Award two years in a row. She was one of many of the students at Bethune Cookman who had the honor of personally knowing Mary McCloud Bethune. 

In 1949 Katheryn met her husband, William Quarles, at MacDill Air Force Base. They were married on December 16, 1950, and that marriage resulted in two children, William and Annette. William passed away on January 3, 1993. William found the Lord at Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church. Katheryn, praising the Lord for William's salvation, left St. Paul A.M.E. and followed her husband to Mt. Tabor where she became one of their pianist for many years and later left Mt. Tabor to assist other churches that needed her assistance. 

Her career with the Hillsborough County Public Schools spans many years and began as Secretary at Blake High School. She was also school secretary at Lomax Elementary, began substitute teaching and went on to teach at Dunbar Elementary for 38 years. Although Kathryn's major was in Business, music, teaching children and serving the Lord, and remained her passion throughout her life. 

She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter, Esther Annette Cooley and husband, Clifton; her son, William L. Quarles, Jr. and wife, Gwendolyn; grandchildren, Ericka Walker and husband, Ben, Quentin Quarles and wife, Kyoko, and William Quarles, III; great-grandchildren, Davale Royal, Koryana Swann, Benjamin Walker III and Brycen Walker; nieces and nephews, Mary Elizabeth James, and her daughters, Sheree Finley and her children, Ashley Wright and Ashden Finley;  Natalie James, and her child, Andreas Ashwood; Michael J. Kennedy and wife, Jean and their children, Mikeshia, Mikea, Mikal and Michael; Erica Stewart and husband, Morris and their children, Morgan, Leah, Kiah and Brenden, Eric Albury and his wife, Survet and their children, Nicholas and Kaela; James Quarles and his wife, Patricia and their children, Derrick and Mark; and Brenda Wright; cousin, Harold Wilson and wife, Sara and their children and grandchildren; her niece and special caregiver, Pamela Byrd and her son, Shelton Quarles and wife, Damaris and their children, Gabriela, Shelton, Jr. and Carlos, special caregiver, Marion Arnett; members of New Bethel AME Church and a host of loving and devoted friends.

“Rest In Peace” Mom. 

The visitation will be held Friday, May 29, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 N. Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606.  We are asking family and friends to follow the CDC guidelines. 

To send flowers to Katheryn's family, please visit our floral store.


May 29, 2020

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Ray Williams Funeral Home
301 N. Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606-1508

Video is available for this event

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