Beverly Payne had a strong New Orleans accent and tolerance for an artist's way. The homes she shared in Gulfport, New Orleans and Bay St. Louis with artist Paul Phillips were dotted with painting easels, paints and charcoals.
She is remembered as reclusive but friendly when she met others because of Phillip's work. The 74-year-old talked little about her mysterious life.
"She worked in New Orleans city hall for 25 years and was a fantastic cook, a lot of French foods," said Mabis Newell of Bay St. Louis, who knew her 20 years. "Paul had a sweet tooth so every day she'd bake him pies or cakes. Her life was catering to Paul."
Theirs seems to have been a story of togetherness.