Nature 42

Lavene Keith Payne

November 10, 1946 ~ July 24, 2022 (age 75)


Lavene Keith Payne, 75, of Muscatine, Iowa, passed away on July 24, 2022, from pancreatic cancer.  Born in 1946 in Ottumwa, Iowa, Lavene grew up in Burlington, where he rode a unicycle to the corner store, delivered newspapers with his brother, and worked at the rail yard as a high schooler.  He was the shortest guy on the 9th grade basketball team and broke records on the track at Burlington High, from where he graduated in 1965.  Lavene went to Iowa State for a few semesters, before opting to head to Alaska with a friend to work as a lumberjack for a bit.  He later served in the US Army, where he was stationed in Verona, Italy, working for NATO as a general’s secretary.  In Italy, after he was discharged, he learned to ski, appreciated good coffee, and enjoyed traveling.  Lavene returned to ISU and, at the Pizza Den in Ames, met Sheryl Friest, who, six months later, in May of 1972, would marry him. He was so proud to celebrate their 50th anniversary in May of this year.  

Lavene worked for the City of Muscatine for almost 40 years.  He loved and enthused over many, many things, including running, golf, coffee, good food, gardening, pawpaws, genealogy, watching baseball and basketball, ping pong, conservation, science, and the natural world.  Lavene loved nothing more, however, than his family.  He was a devoted husband, a loving father, a doting grandfather, and a trusted friend.

Lavene will be deeply missed by his wife, Sheryl; his daughters, Erin (Cory) Christiansen & Anna Payne; his grandchildren, Emarie and Bryn Christiansen; his siblings, Linda (Craig) Williams, Dan (Mona) Payne, and Becky (Steve) Hamilton; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, cousins, and friends.  He is proceeded in death by his parents, James and Kathleen (Burkett) Payne.  

Lavene choose and was proud to participate in the University of Iowa’s deeded bodies program.  A memorial gathering will be held on July 28 from 4-6 p.m. at Snyder & Hollenbaugh Funeral & Cremation Services in Muscatine. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Muscatine Arboretum.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


July 28, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Snyder & Hollenbaugh Funeral & Cremation Services
2907 Mulberry Avenue
Muscatine, IA 52761

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