Linda Lou Shewmake Penny 1939 - 2009 Lawrence
Paid family tribute
Linda Lou Shewmake Penny died at her home in Lawrence, KS on July 4, 2009 after a short battle with a brain tumor. She was born October 25, 1939 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Rex and Arvona Shewmake.
Linda lived much of her childhood in Baxter Springs, KS, where she graduated from High School in 1957. She married Gordon Michael (Mick) Penny in 1960 and they lived in Lawrence while Gordon completed his JD at KU law school. Daughter Shannon was born during this time. After KU, they moved to Medicine Lodge, KS, where three more children, Rebecca, Rachel, and Michael joined the family. While in Medicine Lodge, Linda honed her skills as a volunteer for Girl Scouts, the Methodist Church, PEO, various choirs, the AFS student exchange program, and on boards of the local library, hospital, and Girl Scout Council. She was also employed several years as a Girl Scout Field Advisor for Wheatbelt Area Girl Scouts. She was a great organizer and formed several singing groups, including the Barber County Choral Society which performed Handel’s Messiah several years, and the Penny Loafers, a group of singers who performed pop and Broadway tunes at community events. She was a wonderful hostess, a great gatherer of people, including several exchange students who lived with the family, and others who sat at her table where there was always room for one more.
In 1993, Linda and Gordon moved back to Lawrence to enjoy semi-retirement. Here she continued her community work, following her passion for children’s welfare. She served on the Douglas County Citizens’ Review Board and was a CASA for two children. She sang in the church choir and sang in and was president of the Lawrence Civic Choir. As a member of First United Methodist Church, she volunteered with the Prison Ministry, chaired the music committee, and was a Stephen Ministry leader.
Linda touched many lives with her openness, caring, compassion, humor, and love. She is survived by her husband Gordon, daughter Shannon VanLandingham and husband Sam, daughter Rebecca Gant and husband Joe, daughter Rachel Hawkinson-Penny and partner Heidi, son Michael Penny and wife Hope, daughter Jelica Ristic and husband Scott, daughter Michelle Calder, 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be sent to Douglas County Visiting Nurses and Hospice, 200 Maine St., Lawrence, KS 66044, Douglas County CASA, 111 E. 11th St., Lawrence, Kansas 66044, or Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp, c/o Lawrence Hidden Valley Committee, PO Box 425, Lawrence, KS 66044.
A memorial service will be held at 10 am Tuesday, July 7 at First United Methodist Church in Lawrence, Kansas.
This information was provided to the Journal-World as a paid tribute.