Nevene Marie Cook Payne Kalen


BYRON – Nevene Marie Cook Payne Kalen, age 90, passed away in Bryon on Dec. 3, 2019. Nevene was born on June 28, 1948 in Morrillton, Ark. She was raised with her brothers Milton, James, and William. Nevene was a devoted wife and mother to three children who were blessed to have her as their mother.

Nevene married Doyle Payne in 1948 in Russenville, Ark. They were happily married until Doyle’s passing in 1976. Nevene was remarried to Pete Kalen in Oregon and the two of them shared their lives together until Pete’s passing. Nevene worked as a housekeeper for 25 years at the Sweden House hotel in Rockford. She was passionate about many things in her life including her 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Some of her favorite things were: reading romance novels, sewing, bingo, and camping. She had a strong love of chocolate and caffeine free Diet Pepsi. You could never leave her home without receiving a gift. Whether it was a magazine, food, jewelry, or her favorite, Mounds Bars. Nevene was passionate about feeding her birds and would invite family and friends over just to sit outside and watch the birds come and go. She spent several hours a week outdoors enjoying her birds. Nevene was a lover of the outdoors and took each and every one of her grandchildren camping on a regular basis.

Nevene is survived by her children, Rick Payne of Mount Morris, Nita Klein of Freeport, and Sharon Pendergrass of Byron. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Rick Pendergrass, Christina Pendergrass, Jaime (Jeff) Croegaert, Tiffany Tetrault, Noah Tetrault, Malory (Mathew) Houghton, Courtney Klein, and Carly Klein. Great-grandchildren include, Kyle Toepfer, Ricky Pendergrass, Charlie Pendergrass, Brandon Varilek, Taylor Toepfer, Colten Varilek, Kayla Croegaert, Peyton Pendergrass, Jordan Croegaert, Brooklyn Croegaert, and Brady Croegaert.

A Celebration of Nevene’s life will be from noon-3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 at the Moose

Club in Mount Morris Illinois, 101 Moose Drive, Mt. Morris, Illinois. Please send flowers and other memorial contributions to the Moose Club in Mount Morris.