Paul Baldwin Penny of Lawrence, Kansas, passed away before dawn on October 28, 2017, where his wife, four sons, and one daughter had been in nearby rooms in his home earlier in the evening.
Funeral services will take place at First Christian Church in Lawrence on Saturday, November 4, at 10 a.m. A graveside service will be open to the public at Memorial Park Cemetery following the ceremony.
Paul was born on July 27, 1925, in, according to what he recently found out, Burlingame, Kansas. His parents had been married in Lawrence, but the family would occasionally move from town to town as his father did concrete jobs. In his younger days, Paul would work at farm work, construction work, as a swimming pool lifeguard, and other odd jobs. He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1943. In about July, 1943, Paul was drafted into the U. S. Navy and cruised aboard the U. S. S. Shamrock Bay, an aircraft carrier that travelled to Casablanca and the Panama Canal a few times and then went into combat situations off of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. He left the Navy in about March, 1946, as a signalman first class. He went to the Lawrence Business College; Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas (where he played football and studied art); and the University of Kansas on the G. I. Bill. He was married on November 20, 1949. He later graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University on February 26, 1952. The family later moved to Wichita so that he could work as a production illustrator at Boeing in about 1954. The family moved again to east of Lawrence, then lived in Lecompton, Kansas, between 1956 and 1968, where he was originally in charge of Rock, Inc., which was associated with Penny’s Ready-Mixed Concrete; later working at FMC; Hamm, Inc. construction; Deem’s Farm Equipment; and other odd jobs, meanwhile developing his talent for oil painting, selling numerous works of art. The family moved to Lawrence again in 1968, and Paul continued to pursue oil painting and odd jobs.
He liked hunting and fishing, sometimes consuming frogs, snapping turtles, and road kill. He used family vacations as a source for many of his paintings, as well as depictions of local scenes and portraits. He exhibited his work regularly at the annual Lawrence Art in the Park. He also exhibited at the Crown Center Art Show in May, 1974, and at the Wind River National Art Show in Dubois, Wyoming, in July, 1975. He was also listed in Who’s Who In American Artists for a few years.
He had had a relationship with First Christian Church since childhood, and when living in Lawrence, tended to attend more often than not.
He went on one last family campout vacation in 2007 and exhibited locally one last time in 2014.
He was preceded in death by his father, Myrl Nuzum Penny, the founder of Penny’s Ready-Mixed Concrete Company, Incorporated, in 1957, his mother, Addie Underwood Penny, an oil painter who was a 1915 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Fine Arts who passed away in 1985, his brother, Junius Myrl Penny, who had lived in Lawrence and Emporia, Kansas, his brother, Stanley Dean Penny, of Lawrence, Kansas, a confusing number of cousins, in-laws including Dale Bruce, Shari Reed Schaefer (former wife of Stanley), Patricia (Riordan) Penny and Lila Penny (wives of Charles), Duane Cowan, Harry Spencer, nephew Kevin Charles Penny, and niece Lisa Shawn Cowan.
He is survived by his wife, the former Virginia Rae Alburty, his sister Margaret Penny Bruce, now living in Wichita, Kansas, his brother Charles Nuzum Penny, now living in Glendale, Arizona, his sister Lois Penny Cowan, now living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a few Penny and Underwood cousins including Lawrence Penny, Rebecca Martin, Marlene Underwood Masingkey, and Joanie Underwood Whitenight, in-laws including Mary Lou (Nelson) Penny (widow of Junius), Theo (Westlund) Penny (former wife of Stanley), Bill and Betty Alburty (now living in Leawood, Kansas), Harrison Madden (a former psychology professor at Fresno State University), and Marion Maxine (Alburty) Madden Spencer (a violinist living in Monterey, California), his son Alan Dean Penny, now living in Lawrence, Kansas, his son Michael Paul Penny, now living in Lawrence, Kansas, his son Gary Russell Penny and his wife Rita Marie (Jackson) Penny, now living in Central, Utah, his son Christopher Ray Penny, now living in Lecompton, Kansas, Melissa Lynn (Penny) Swanson and her husband Edward Wallace Swanson, who have worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Colombia and Mexico, but have been staying near Walnut, Illinois, recently, at least 11 nephews, at least 11 nieces, the families of those nephews and nieces, 1 great-grandson, and 2 great-granddaughters.
Visitation will be at 7 p.m. Friday, November 3, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
Memorials may be made to the Paul Penny Memorial Fund or Wycliffe Bible Translators (for Mexico training) and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.