Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one: Live it well…enjoy the “today’s” and do something fun. Be happy. Remember that it is the health that is the real wealth…not the pieces of gold and silver. When you get older, it is not what you have gathered, but what you have scattered that will tell you the kind of life you have lived.
And, oh what a fantastic life she lived! Beginning the day she arrived – delivered into the world by Cayuga Indian, Lizzie Peacock. Born in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, the daughter of James and Ethel (Stanbery) Power. She grew up one of twelve in the Sycamore Creek area where she enjoyed many adventures with her brothers and sisters, and spent days picking blackberries and grapes in the hills of her Oklahoma. She loved her parents and was raised to live a Christian life (there are only ten rules to follow she said just a few days ago).
Needing an escort home from her job as a telephone operator, her brother introduced her to a young Wayne Penn who would do the job. That was the beginning of a love affair that will go on for all eternity. They were married June 22, 1947, and together had four children whom they love dearly, Susan and Debbie, born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Becky and David, born in Neodesha, Kansas.
In 1960, The Penn Family moved to Garnett, Kansas. Where, for the next 58 years, Betty would love raising her family and making life-long friends. 409 W. 5th Avenue has enjoyed countless hours of family, friendship and laughter. Generations of “Penn Kids” have brought friends to 409. Dear friends, that were like family, would gather to visit, play pitch, meet to enjoy a meal at Scipio Supper Club or brunch at Maloan’s. Family and friends were cherished beyond measure and were constants through life’s celebrations. They were also there when life’s trials required them to stand together and lift each other through to the next day.
Betty was an artist and a creative who loved painting, writing, reading, genealogy, crossword puzzles, KU basketball and Royals baseball. She worked as a telephone operator, lab technician at Anderson County Hospital, was the bookkeeper for Penn’s Apco, and owner/operator of 417 House of Gifts.
Above all, she lived a life of service to God and her community. Giving hour upon hour to the First Christian Church, Blood Mobile, American Cancer Society, Daughters of the Nile, and the Garnett Public Library. She drove friends and acquaintances to doctor appointments and sat by the side of many friends and neighbors in their last days. She served because she could help - and because her strength, faith and steadfastness in the knowledge that all would be well with the Lord - was of great comfort to others.
Her heart and soul were her family. Betty dearly loved her husband and children. Together, they were proud of the people they had become: the nurse, the teacher, the florist and the outdoorsman. The children brought children, who brought children, who brought children. Birthdays, ball games, track meets, dance recitals, fishing, plays, graduations, weddings, and thousands of every day (32,853 days to be exact) memories were the stuff of life and love.
In 2010 after Wayne passed on, she uttered, “63 years was not enough time for this life.” They are together again, after a fantastic life lived.
Betty L. Penn, age 90, of Garnett, Kansas, passed away on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at Guest Home Estates, Garnett.
She was born April 30, 1928, in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, the daughter of James and Ethel (Stanbery) Power. Betty graduated from high school in Afton, Oklahoma.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Ethel Power; her husband, Wayne L. Penn on April 18, 2010; son, David Wayne Penn in 1975; five sisters and five brothers.
Betty is survived by three daughters, Susan Tush of Wichita, Kansas; Debbie Bassford and husband Kent of Wellington, Kansas; Becky King and husband Rick of Garnett, Kansas; eight grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; and two great grandchildren on the way.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at the First Christian Church, Garnett, with burial to follow in the Garnett Cemetery. The family will greet friends on Monday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Feuerborn Family Funeral Service Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church or to Guest Home Estates.