Green Burial

Rita Ann Pennybaker


Pennybaker-RitaFuneral service for Rita Ann (Thompson) Pennybaker, 83, Lawrence, Kansas will be at 10:00 am on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Lawrence, Kansas. Following the service Rita will be put to rest at Memorial Park Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas. Rita passed away at home at 3:10 am on Saturday, December 7th, with her family by her side.

Friends may call at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, Lawrence, Kansas, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 10th.

Rita was born June 21st, 1930 in Olathe, Kansas. She attended Holy Trinity Catholic School in Lenexa, Kansas, and graduated from Olathe High School, Olathe, Kansas, in 1948. She graduated from Kansas State Teachers College (Emporia State University) in 1953 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught kindergarten in Shawnee, Kansas for two years while going to school.
On July 31st, 1953 she married Dale Pennybaker in Emporia, Kansas. She taught special education, kindergarten, and physical education at Iowa City, Iowa from 1953 to 1956. They lived in Fremont, Nebraska from 1956 till 1964. Then they lived in Minot, North Dakota from 1964 till 1966, and then in Wayne, Nebraska from 1966 till 1969. They lived in Evergreen, Colorado from 1969 until 1989 where she taught physical education and fourth grade at Wilmot Elementary school. She retired from there in 1984.

They moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1989 where she was active in PEO, Alvamar Women’s Golf Association, Salvation Army Auxiliary, and Redeemer Lutheran Church.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Dale, of the home; a son, Kent Pennybaker and his wife Janet, of Lawrence; a granddaughter, Atherly, and a grandson Austin. She is also survived by her brother, Hugh Thompson, Jr., his wife Arlene, of Gardner, Kansas; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Redeemer Lutheran Church or The American Cancer Society and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

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  • Bill Nelsen says:

    The people of Midland University in Fremont, NE are saddened by the death of Rita Pennybaker. She and her husband Coach Dale Pennybaker have been part of the Midland community since they came to Fremont in the 1950′s. Those of us who played football for Coach will always remember the kindness and support we received from Rita all along the way. We will miss her greatly, even though we rejoice that she is in God’s hands.
    Bill Nelsen, Midland Class of ’63
    University Minister for Advancement and Church Relations

  • Jon and Debbie Behner says:

    We feel so blessed to have had Rita as a part of our lives. We loved her so much. Sending our love to Dale, and of course Kent, Janet, Attie and Austin. We love you all. God Bless you Rita, God has a special angel in you.

  • Barry and Barbara O'Brien says:

    Kent and Family,
    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Your family will be remembered in our prayers.
    Barry and Barb O’Brien

  • Maggie Peters says:

    Dale, Kent, Janet and kids: Our thoughts and prayers are with you and hope all the fantastic memories of Rita can get you through this. I have very fond memories of Rita and all she did to help the Moore girls get to the slopes. How she organized, fed, and had patience for us all staying in your home in Evergreen. Also loved how she shared so many golf ideas with me when I needed her help planning ladies events and tournaments. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Maggie

  • Dick Abbott says:

    I think I’ve seen Rita once or twice since high school. Our paths just never crossed, but I do remember our high school days and the good friend Rita was to me. Rita enjoyed life and the activities that go with high school curriculum and social activities. May our Lord continue to bless her family each and every day.
    See you on the other side!
    Dick Abbott, classmate.

  • Julie and Rod Brethower says:

    We were so sorry to hear about Rita passing. What a wonderful
    friend she was!!!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Dale and the family and we will
    be with you all in spirit on Wed.

  • Larry Munn says:

    Coach and Rita Pennybaker have been good friends since 1960. I played football for Coach and have attended many Homecoming events hosted by Coach and Rita. They are special people, and Rita had a grace and gentleness as she befriended all of us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach and all of the family in this time of great sadness. RIP and God Bless.

    Larry Munn, Midland Class of ’64

  • J. Taylor says:

    What a wonderful woman. I feel very blessed to have known her. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kent,
    We were so sorry to hear about your mothers passing. I never met her, but knowing you and the type of person that she raised lets me know that she had to be a great lady.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

  • Chris and jan Meunier says:

    Kent,
    We were so sorry to hear about your mothers passing. I never met her, but knowing you and the type of person that she raised lets me know that she had to be a great lady.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

  • Bill Hellerich says:

    I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Dale Pennybaker’s wife Rita. She was a great help to Coach Pennybaker on the Midland Homecomings and I was very impressed with her. We will greatly miss her and my prayers go out to Coach Dale and his family in this time of need.
    Bill Hellerich, Midland Class of ’63

  • Bev & Tom Vitamvas says:

    Coach and Family
    Our thoughts are of you.
    Our prayers are for you.
    Our love and care are with you.
    Rita was a special lady who is fondly remembered for her kindness, and, most especially, her understanding and support during our days at Midland. Homecomings, with renewed old friendships, were especially memorable due to the post-game Pennybaker reunions made possible through Rita’s perserverance and hard work. We will greatly miss her warmth and ever-present smile.
    May God’s Blessing be with you all.
    Bev & Tom Vitamvas, Midland Class of ’63