Alberta Green Payne, 55, a retired administrative assistant in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and a recipient of its Superior Service Award, died of lung cancer Jan. 23 at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park.

Mrs. Payne was born in Woodbury, N.Y., and grew up there and in Philadelphia. She came to Washington in 1942, and spent the next three years as a stenographer with the old War Production Board. From 1945 to 1952, she was secretary to the president of the D.C. branch of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. She then joined the Department of the Army.

She began her career with HEW in 1957, and held secretarial and administrative positions until her retirement last October for reasons of health.

In 1958, Mrs. Payne became a member of the First Baptist Church of Marshall Heights in Washington. She taught Sunday School there and was a member of the senior usher board. In 1978, she graduated from the Interdenominational School of Ushering.

Her marriage to Russell H. Payne ended in divorce.

Survivors include three sons, Michael W., of Baltimore, and Gregory M. and Russell H., both of the home in Washington; seven sisters, Grace Redd, of Springfield, Mass., Bernice Lee, of Washington, Louise Fleming, of Silver Spring, Gloria Hester and Doris Taylor, both of San Jose, Calif., Lillian Gaskins, of Baltimore, and shirley Boone, of Denver; and six brothers, John, Robert and Clifford Green, all of Woodbury, Henry Green, of Oxon Hill, Lonnie Green, of Monroe, La., and David Green, of Denver.