Janis Ann Pennington
“Behold I tell you a mystery.
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet shall sound, and dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Corinthians 15
Dear Nativity of Our Lady,
I write to you on the night I have said farewell to my Mother, Janis Ann Pennington.
She died in the early evening of Tuesday, July 17th, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota after a brief but devastating diagnosis of congestive heart failure. She was born and raised in a small town directly on the border of Texas and Arkansas. Janis was the baby in a family of four children. She met and married the love of her life in the same parish where she celebrated all of her Sacraments. My Father spotted her at a gathering of women from his Mother’s office attending a swimming lesson. While he did not know her name, he asked his Mother who the girl in the yellow bathing suit might be? They married on the hottest day on record August 1956. They brought two sons into the world and raised their family to be full of the virtues that came so naturally to them.
Janis was outrageously funny in her observations, her Arkansas accent, and her inability to edit any and all thoughts that came to her mind. She loved the art of conversation and never tired of “visiting” with friends and neighbors. She was intensely interested in people and their stories. She reveled in discussing trivial matters and like a good Southern girl, always avoided the treacherous topics of politics and religion.
She enjoyed a wildly successful marriage to my father by always laughing at his jokes regardless of how many times they had been recounted. She loved music and long drives through suburban neighborhoods admiring people’s gardens and remarking on the scale of large homes. My mother was extremely proud of the accomplishments of her two sons and reveled in the compliments bestowed upon them. She loved bright colors and having her hair “done.”
Just this year we celebrated 90 years of her life and she was delighted with her party and her birthday cakes of lemon and carrot. My Mother was a highly moral person who never entertained the idea of being dishonest or mean spirited or malicious. Janis Pennington was one of the few people I knew who never repeated gossip or hearsay. She always wanted to believe the best of others. She had a wonderful speaking voice and a warm and lovely smile.
Our heats are breaking tonight for there has never been anyone like her and never will be.
Thank you God, for giving me to such wonderful, colorful and loving parents.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her Oh Lord~
And May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her~
Father Matt Pennington