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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituary: Thomas Lee Pennell (1932 -2009)

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Obituary: Thomas Lee Pennell (1932 -2009)

Thomas Lee Pennell, 76, son of James K. and Bertha Pennell and grandson of Henry Cay and Dora Pennell, former Fort Dick residents, died Jan. 12, 2009, at his home. He had been ill with Alzheimer’s disease for more then five years and bladder cancer for four months.

Pennell began his life in Long Beach on Aug. 18, 1932. In the 1930s, the family moved to Bakersfield and then to Fort Dick. He attended Redwood School and Del Norte High School, graduating in 1950. In March 1951, he joined the Air Force.

Following basic training in August he was sent to the Air Police School in Georgia and then to Korea. Upon his discharge in March 1955, he returned to Fort Dick for several years.

He graduated from San Diego State College in June 1967 with a teaching credential. His teaching career was spent in Shafter, Calif., and upon retiring, he returned to Fort Dick, where he remained until his death.

In addition to his parents and grandparents, he was preceded in death by his brother, James K. Pennell Sr., sister Kathleen B. Thu, and nieces Kandi Carlston and Judy Louise Mclaflin.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Helen Pennell; daughter Suzanne Pennell of Tahlequah, Okla., and daughter and son-in-law Diane and Mark Raintree of Fort Dick.

A memorial service will be held later.

In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to send his daughters (in care of This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) stories about how they remember him.

After cremation, his remains will be interred next to his brother and sister-in-law in the San Joaquin National Cemetery, Santa Nella, Calif.

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