Dale Atherly Pennybaker

Dale Atherly Pennybaker, 89, Lawrence, KS, passed away on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital with his family by his side. He was born August 6th, 1925 in Strawn, Kansas (now under John Redmond reservoir) to Earl and Flora (Atherly) Pennybaker. His family moved to Severy, Kansas when he was 3. They moved to Hartford, Kansas in 1942 where he finished high school and was very active in all sports. He started college in the fall of 1943 but was interrupted by military service during WW II. He served in the South Pacific in the Army, making several beach landings. He then was a part of the occupational forces on mainland Japan until discharged in February, 1946. He returned to college at Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State) where he obtained a BS in Education in 1949. His education was again interrupted when he was called back to service in Korea in 1950-1951. He returned to KSTC to finish an advanced degree, earning his MS in Administration in 1955. There he met his future bride of 60 years, and on July 31st, 1953 he married Rita Thompson in Emporia, Kansas.

He taught and coached at several different high schools (Gridley, Mound City, Parker, and Burlington) in Kansas before obtaining his PhD in Physical Education from Iowa University in 1956. He was then a coach and athletic director at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska (1956-1964), Minot State College in Minot, North Dakota (1964-1966), and Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska (1966-1969). In 1965 he took the USA AAU Track Team to Africa for 50 days. In 1969 the family moved to Evergreen, Colorado where he continued in coaching and public school administration. He retired in 1985 as athletic director of Lakewood High School, Lakewood, Colorado. They moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1989 where he was active in Dorsey-Liberty Post 14 American Legion, VFW, Cosmopolitan Club, and Redeemer Lutheran Church. He and his wife traveled extensively and played lots of golf in their retirement. In 1996, Dale was inducted into the Midland University Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2007 the Hall of Fame Corridor was named after him.

Dale was preceded in death by his wife, Rita. He is survived by his son, Kent Pennybaker (Janet), Lawrence; his granddaughter, Atherly; and his grandson, Austin.

Visitation will be held at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, Lawrence, Kansas, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, May 18th, 2015. Services will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Lawrence, Kansas, at 10:00 am on Tuesday, May 19th. Following the service Dale will be laid to rest at Memorial Park Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas, with full military honors.

Memorial contributions may be made in Dale’s name to Redeemer Lutheran Church; Midland University–Dale and Rita Pennybaker Scholarship Fund; or any of the organizations who gave Dale excellent care: At Home Inc; Bridge Haven Village; LMH Endowment–3 West; and Grace Hospice. Memorials may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th, Lawrence, KS 66044.

9 Condolences

  1. Joe & Diana Wilson on May 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Kent, Janet, Attie and Austin,

    You and your family are in our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers. I hope all the wonderful memories of Dale bring you comfort in the days ahead.

    Joe & Diana

  2. Nancy Hettwer on May 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Kent, Janet, Attie and Austin,
    Your family has always held a special place in my heart. Dale hired Hank as his football coach almost fifty years ago and he and Rita (and you too Kent) became our dear friends. When Hank died, Dale and Rita became my “rock” and remained so throughout the years. So many fond memories of your family! I hope Dale looks Hank up in heaven so they can share football stories, and I know that Dale is very happy now as he is with Rita – the love of his life!

  3. James Slaughter on May 12, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Kent, your father certainly lived a full life. Quite an admirable resume. My sincere condolences to you and your family.


  4. Larry Munn on May 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Kent and family. I was saddened to hear of Coach Pennybaker’s passing. He was such a mentor and friend to all of the athletes at Midland. I will forever be grateful for all that he did for me. Thoughts and prayers to all of you. Larry Munn

    PS I don’t think at this time that I will be able to attend the services as I have been having some health problems, but know I am thinking of your family, and will always have fond memories of the Coach.

  5. Barry O'Brien & Barbara O'Brien on May 13, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Dear Kent and family, we are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    Barry & Barbara

  6. Tiffany Hopkins on May 13, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Austin and family. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Grandparents are such special people and I’m sure you will miss him. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

    Tiffany Hopkins

  7. Marcia Younger on May 14, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Dear Kent and family–We were saddened to read about your Dad’s death. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time. Our family always enjoyed knowing your family and are glad for the great memories of our times together here in Evergreen AND on the slopes! I am so glad that I got to spend time with your parents a few years ago when you all came for your 30th high school reunion. God bless you all.

    Marcia Younger

  8. Stan McCool on May 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Peace to you and your family.

  9. Rick Rohwer on May 19, 2015 at 1:16 am

    My condolences for the family of Mr Penneybaker, even then he was known as Dr Penneybaker. I was on the 1970 Evergreen CO football team under his leadership. It was a difficult year for our team and for Dale. He was a fine man! I learned a great deal from him. Rest in peace, God bless you!

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