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February 24, 1940 - July 6, 2019

Obituary

On July 6, 2019, Henry (Hank) Penner passed away at the Christine Morrison Hospice in Mission at the age of 79. Hank was born in Mission on February 24, 1940, to George and Edna Penner. The first of 12 children, he graduated from Abbotsford Senior and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree at UBC. On April 11, 1963, he married Gail, with whom he would spend the next 56 years. Hank and Gail raised their three sons in Mission, and in 2004 they moved to Abbotsford, where Hank would spend his retirement years.

Hank loved all things sports. He won the 1959 athlete of the year trophy in high school, where he played (at least) soccer, basketball and rugby. He watched any sport that was on television and he loved keeping track of team and player statistics. He also had a keen interest in learning, and seemed to know a lot about a lot of things. Hank was an educator for many years. He taught in Fort St. John, Keremeos, Yahk and Trail, before returning to Mission, where he was a beloved teacher and principal to his students at McConnell Creek, Manson, Edwin S. Richards, Dewdney and West Heights. His spirit just can’t be captured in a few lines. He had a kind heart and a genuine interest in the people he interacted with. He was gentle, but he was strong. He was our go-to for any big decision that had to be made.

Hank was predeceased by his father George, his mother Edna, his brothers-in-law John, John (yes, two Johns) and Mark, his sister-in-law Mary, and his nephew Brian. He is survived by his wife Gail, his sons Steve (Amie), Rick (Amanda) and Darren (Ty), his grandchildren, Sam, Curtis, Audrey, Patrice, Abi and Noah, his siblings Ruth (Dick), Mary, Edna (Paul), Rudy, Linda (Ken), Carol, Jim (Twyla), Della (Sal), Garry (Cecilia), Rick (Cindy) and Rob (Joy), his mother-in-law Fern, his sisters-in-law Dianne (Dale) and Donna, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Final arrangements are being handled by Bakerview Crematorium, and online condolences may be made at www.bakerviewcrematorium.com. At Hank’s request, there will be no funeral service. Cancer won this round, but it can’t take our memories or change what comes after. Our loss is heaven’s gain.

Condolences

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From: Bakerview Community Crematorium & Celebration Centre

Bakerview Community Crematorium & Celebration Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Donna Schiller
Relation: Hank was my brother-in-law.

How do you sum up a 57-year relationship with someone in a few words? My brother-in-law Hank came into my life when I was 5 years old and he has been a powerful influence and role model in my life ever since.

Hank was more like a member of the family, rather than an in-law and he made you feel as though you were a treasured member of his family as well. He was an amazing listener and had a knack for making people feel at ease the minute you met him. He had an extremely inquisitive mind and was always so full of questions. He was genuinely interested in other people and what was happening in your life. It seemed as though he could talk to anybody about anything (not just sports).

Words cannot even begin to express the pain in my heart and how much Hank will be missed. The world has lost a truly amazing human being, far too soon. My only solace is in knowing that Hank has been reunited with loved ones who have gone on before him, welcoming him home with open arms.

From: Sue Antonson
Relation: He was my principal when i taught at Dewdney Elementary.

Hank was an amazing principal at Dewdney Elementary. Many of us looked upon him as the dad of the staff. I enjoyed my time teaching there and learned from him. I feel honoured to have known him. To his family, my condolences. We have lost a good one.

From: Todd Alex and Chiara
Relation: Friend

Please accept our sincere condolences. It was our honor to have known Hank and our pleasure to have spent time with him. He was always kind and welcoming. His compassion will certainly live on in all those whom he knew.

From: Jo Welsh
Relation: My Cousin's husband.

Our sincere condolences to Gail, Steve, Rick, Darren and all the family. Hank was a great guy, full of interesting conversation, and a true gentleman. We are sure Hank is going to be very sadly missed by everybody who knew him. We feel fortunate to have seen Hank, and the family, the number of times that we did, given the distance between us. We have so many lovely memories. Our love and thoughts are sent to everybody who knew Hank. From Jo, Alan, Rob, Linda and all the family in the U.K. xx

From: Faye Cassia
Relation: Through his work.

Hank was such a gentle man, and yet he had such control of his students. We were blessed to have him, briefly, as a principal at Dewdney Elementary when my sons were young, and I have never forgotten him, or the impact of his ways. I learned much from observing him, which I practice now in my own teaching. Wishing you peace in your time of sorrow.

From: Polly Betterton
Relation: Polly worked with Hank from 1978 to 1985 - Ed was at ESR until Hank left.

Hank was a tremendous principal; a man who had high principles and empathy. He would ask if I was having a good day, if I responded honestly that it was barely a 5, he’d keep returning all day asking if it had improved. He cared about his staff and all of the students. A man that everyone respected.

From: Caroline and Ron Craig
Relation: Friend and School Secretary

To Gail, Steve, Rick, Darren and your families, our sincere condolences.

We were friends and neighbours first through our boys’ friendships, and then I had the privilege of working with Hank as one of his secretaries at Dewdney and Edwin S Richards Elementary Schools. Hank was a very kind man and a patient and understanding principal. He always had a smile and a twinkle in his eyes when he greeted you.

It was an honor to have worked with Hank. He will be missed.

From: CHERYLE HALLBERG

Hank was the principal at Dewdney when my children attended the school. He was such a caring man and was such a big help for my son. Things changed for my son when he began attending Dewdney. He will be missed.

From: Carol and Ken Bisgard
Relation: Friend

I first met Hank when I worked in the same office as Gail. There are so many words that come to mind when I think of him – strong, kind, gentle, thoughtful, a loving husband and father and a good friend. i know he will be sadly missed by all who knew him. I will miss his sense of humour and making ginger cookies for him. My thoughts and prayers go out to you Gail, and all the family.

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