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.