OBITUARY: Evelyn Vivian (Penner) Smith

NEWTON—Evelyn Vivian (Penner) Smith. 92, of Newton, KS died Tuesday, June 14 at Comfort Care Homes in Newton.

Evelyn was born July 17, 1929 to John Jacob Penner and Augusta Evelyn (Schroeder) Penner in Halstead, KS, the oldest of eight children. She grew up on a farm near Halstead and attended Pleasant Valley School. After graduating from Newton High School in 1947, she attended a business school in Omaha, NE, and then moved back to Newton. Soon after she met LeRoy Smith, and they were married October 8, 1949. They lived briefly in Wichita, then Newton, and finally moved to a farm near Walton, where they lived for over 50 years.

Evelyn was a busy mom of five children and also worked for a number of years at the Walton Coop and later at Prairie View Mental Health Center from 1971-1996. She was a life-time member at First Mennonite Church, Newton where she taught preschool Sunday School, served on various committees, and was an active member of the women’s sewing/quilting group. She enjoyed quilting for her family and helped organize the quilt auction at the annual MCC sale for several years. She and LeRoy loved to travel and built a cabin in Colorado where they spent many weeks during their retirement years. After LeRoy’s sudden death in 1999, Evelyn continued to travel with friends and to visit grandchildren, celebrating graduations, weddings and other special occasions, making many photo albums of these events.

Survivors include her five children Stan Smith of Kansas City, MO, Steve Smith (Chris) of Manhattan, KS, Barbara Claassen (Sam) of Newton, KS, Roger Neufeld Smith (Cynthia) of Topeka, KS, and Dianne Schmidt (Dennis) of North Newton, KS; 15 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; siblings Frank Penner, Lawrence Penner, Lucille Smith, Max Penner.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two brothers, Vernon Penner and John Henry Penner, and one sister, Bernice Penner.

Friends may call from 1:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Sunday, June 19 with family greeting friends from 6-8 pm at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home.

Graveside services and interment will be held at 10:00 A.M., Monday, June 20 at Restlawn Gardens of Memory outside of Newton.

Memorial services will follow at 11:00 A.M., Monday, June 20 at the First Mennonite Church in Newton.

Memorials have been established with First Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Central Committee in care of the funeral home.

Condolences may be left at www.broadwaycolonialfh.com

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton, Ks.
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