Bruce Volney Penwell, Jr. passed away July 4, 2020

Bruce Volney Penwell, Jr. of Stevensville, MI died peacefully on July 4, 2020 from an extended illness at Hanson Hospice Center, with caring, supportive Hospice staff and the Lord at his side. Bruce had given thanks, said his prayers, and goodbyes.

Bruce was born in 1924 at Pana, Illinois to Bruce Volney Penwell, Sr. and Elva Jane (Jennings) Penwell. Many of his early years were spent on the Jesse Floyd Jennings family farm named “Maplecrest”, in Beecher City, Illinois. Bruce graduated from Beecher City High School. In 1950, he graduated from University of Illinois, majoring in Agriculture Economics. Bruce was a member of Delta Sigma Phi Social Fraternity.

Bruce served in U.S. Army Constabulary in occupied Germany after WWII and with U.S. Army IX Corps Headquarters as Liaison and Intelligence Operations Officer during the Korean War.

In 1949, Bruce married Frances Abbie Mason of Highland Park, Illinois (deceased 2015). Bruce is survived by his two children and their spouses, Mark Penwell & wife Jean Penwell, Amy (Penwell) Reutlinger & husband Jerry Reutlinger; Bruce’s siblings: Carolyn (Penwell) Orwiler, Janey (Penwell) Townsley, Allan Penwell and their respective families.

Bruce spent most of his career in the Animal Health Industry, serving in sales and marketing capacities, most of the time traveling, for U.S.A. and international companies, retiring from Glaxo Wellcome in Raleigh, NC.

During retirement, Bruce volunteered at North Carolina Museum of History as a docent and at Rex Hospital, Raleigh, NC as a volunteer serving over 20 years. Bruce enjoyed cooking and volunteering for various events at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church where he also served as an usher for many years. His interest in family ancestry and history and current world events, along with his love of “selling” prompted him to join five genealogical societies and participate in many “collectors” exhibits and trade shows. Bruce spent a number of years in Pana and Beecher City, IL as a young boy and subsequently had a lifelong interest in the people and events of the surrounding areas. Bruce subscribed to the Beecher City Journal & Pana News-Palladium for many years and provided information for several articles about town and family histories written by local reporters.

The family of Mr. Penwell thank each of the staff and volunteers of Spectrum Health Lakeland, Woodland Terrace of Bridgman, MI, Hanson Hospice Center of Stevensville, MI and St. Paul's Episcopal Church of St. Joseph, MI for all their care, counsel and wonderful service for Mr. Penwell and his family over the past few years. Also, many thanks to friends and family of Mr. Penwell and his immediate family members for their support over these past years. We look forward to many more years of sharing.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Caring Circle, 4025 Health Park Ln, St. Joseph, MI, 49085, or St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 914 Lane Drive, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085.

Graveside service and burial will take place in Pana, IL at a later date. 

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