Thelma G. (Paye) Buck Kirstein

Thelma Georgeanna (Paye) Buck Kirstein, 94, of Greenville, South Carolina died Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.

She was born in Tupper Lake at the Hotel Faust, which was owned and operated by her grandmother Georgeanna. She was the daughter of the late Alice Girard and Leon Burl Paye and an only child. She lived in Saranac Lake; Toms River, New Jersey; Atlanta, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina.

Thelma was happiest when she was with her family or playing the piano. She started piano at age 8 and by age 14 was accompanying her father on the violin at dances and parties. She continued playing until just a few months before her death including playing for the other residents in her independent, assisted, and nursing care facilities.

She had a love of genealogy and connected with many ancestors. Our family likes to think of Mom in her heavenly home surrounded by the loved ones that have gone before her entertaining them on a most magnificent piano!

She is survived by five daughters: Lynne Coullier of Virginia, Mary Buzzell of New York; Theresa Garrett of South Carolina; Susie Goodrow of North Carolina; and Rosanne Johnson of Florida; one son, Stuart Buck of California; 22 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; as well as her stepchildren, David Kirstein, Jonathan Kirstein, and Leslie LaCava; and families.

She is preceded in death by her first husband, Frank Buck; her second husband, Albert Kirstein; and her youngest daughter, Alison VanCour, who passed away on Sept. 3, 2017.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. Funeral services were held in Greenville, South Carolina. Burial will take place in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in the spring.

Family and friends can share their memories and sign the online guestbook at