Rogene Penny, Arvada, CO, died on January 30, 2021, at the age of 93, after suffering a broken hip. Her love of children, of teaching, and of animals will be remembered by former students, colleagues and friends. Rogene Penny was “that teacher” you always remember, absorbed into families and invited to attend birthday parties, graduations, weddings.
Rogene Nordstedt Penny was born on August 8, 1927 in Lindsborg, Kansas. She was the youngest daughter of Robert and Elda Nordstedt and was proceeded in death by her husband of more than 50 years, Loren (2015), as well as her daughter Dana Penny Pallaoro (2006) and son Kurtis Penny (2017). She grew up on a farm in rural Kansas, and talked often about escaping household chores to work side by side with her dad, driving a truck at age 10, hitching up a team of horses for planting, baling hay. Horses were here favorite companions, and there was always a beloved dog in her life.
Rogene graduated from Sedgwick High School in 1944 and attended Pittsburg State Teachers College where she met her husband Loren, an army veteran. They married in a small chapel in Yellowstone National Park. She began teaching in Meade, Kansas as she waited for Loren to complete his degree, and then the couple moved to Arvada. Rogene began teaching 1st grade full time in 1964 at Vanderhoof Elementary, moving to Stott Elementary when it opened in 1972. She loved reading, and coaxed many a younger reader with favorites such as “Billy and Blaze: A Boy and his Pony”. She retired from teaching in 1987, and began a second 30 year career tutoring struggling readers and writers. She adored her students. Rogene was a poet and published author of books and cards for Blue Mountain cards.
Rogene, Loren and their family loved to travel. When the children were smaller, they helped to choose and plan trips to historic venues across America. When empty nesters, they purchased an RV and traveled the backroads, visiting small towns and historic sites with their dog family. Favorite trips included a 6 month “follow the fall leaves” tour, and a trip to Churchill, Ontario to see polar bears in the wild. They found time every year to visit favorites places, including Santa Fe and Rocky Mountain National Park. Rogene loved to tell the story of her “almost” encounter with a mountain lion along a park trail.
Rogene Penny will be remembered and missed. A celebration of her life will be held later this summer. Donations in her honor can be made by check to the Stott Elementary Library, 6600 Yank Way, Arvada, CO 80004.
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