Photo of Josephine Payne

Josephine Payne

02/20/1918 - 05/01/2012

Memorials can be made to Visitation School Foundation


Josephine Payne, 94, of Kewanee, Il. died at 4:30 A.M. Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at Kewanee Hospital. Josephine was born February 20, 1918 in Rock Falls, Il. the daughter of Louis and Marie (Bartolucci) Balassoni. She attended school in Rock Falls and moved to Kewanee at the age of 20. She married Gerald “Sonny” Roper in 1941. Together they owned and operated Roper Grocery Store in Kewanee for 38 years. He died in 1980. She was also preceded in death by a son George, three sisters Edith, DeeDee, Mary and three brothers Frank, Louie, Tony.

Josephine married Phil Payne on February 27, 1988 in Annawan, Il. He survives along with a daughter-in-law Sheryl Roper of Kewanee, a granddaughter Tammy Cuyler, grandson Tony Roper, five great grandchildren, one great great grandchild, one brother Henry Bellson of Encino, Ca. and three nieces Arnette, Kathy and Penney.

Josephine was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Kewanee and its Altar and Rosary Society, Kewanee Woman’s Club and the VFW Auxiliary.

Josephine loved music and especially enjoyed following the career of her world –renowned drummer brother Louie Bellson and his wife Pearl Bailey.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, May 5, 2012 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kewanee. Fr. Sebastian Tumusiime will officiate. Burial will be in the Pleasant View Cemetery, Kewanee, Il. Visitation will be from 5-7 P.M. Friday, May 4, 2012 at the Schueneman-Tumbleson Funeral Home, Kewanee, Il. where the rosary will be recited at 7:00 P.M. Memorials may be directed to Visitation School Foundation.

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