OBITUARY: Twila Penner

Twila Penner

Twila (Huebert) Penner was born March 7, 1934, in the family farmhouse near Henderson, Nebraska, to Henry H. and Anna (Friesen) Huebert.

Twila had four brothers and was one of six sisters. As a Depression-era family, they were familiar with hard times. Everyone in the family worked hard, a trait that, later in life, Twila instilled in her family, as well.

In 1950, Twila publicly confessed her salvation as a believer in Jesus Christ to her church and was baptized and became a member of the Bethesda Mennonite Church. Twila was a faithful servant of God and active in various churches her entire life.

After graduating from high school, Twila started teaching at age 17 in a one-room schoolhouse near Henderson for two years. Twila then enrolled in Bethel College in 1953 and was going to be senior in the fall of 1955. However, fate stepped in and changed her life forever when she married Lauren Penner in September of 1955.

In 1958, Twila experienced a lot of change in her life. Her first son, Kim, was born in January. Twelve days after Kim was born, Twila went from extreme happiness to extreme sadness, as her mother died at age 55 of a heart attack. Later that year, Lauren, Twila and Kim moved to Newton.

Twila’s daughter Joni was born in 1960. When Joni was 13 months old, Twila enrolled in cosmetology school and received her degree as a licensed hairdresser in 1962. She was a licensed hairdresser for over 50 years.

In 1965, the family purchased the Dutch Kitchen restaurant and returned to Henderson. Lauren and Twila both worked in the restaurant. Then in 1966, Rick was born. Several years later, the family relocated to Newton when they purchased a printing and publishing company. In 1975, Lauren and Twila sold the printing business and started farming on land halfway between Newton and Hesston.

After Lauren and Twila retired from farming, they relocated to Schowalter Villa in Hesston. They were both very active in the Schowalter Villa community and in Hesston Mennonite Church.

Twila went to meet her lord and savior on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024.

She is survived by Lauren, her husband of 69 years; sons, Kim (Lynda) Penner and Rick (Michelle) Penner, and daughter, Joni Mann; seven grandchildren, Broc Penner, Brianna McQuay, Chance Penner, Kyle Mann, Kelsey Wiens, Tate Benjamin and Jacob Penner; and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Hesston Mennonite Church. Burial will take place later at Eastlawn Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hesston Mennonite Church Organ Fund in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, P.O. Box 32, Hesston, KS, 67062.

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