Cover photo for Helen Penn's Obituary
Helen Penn Profile Photo
1920 Helen 2015

Helen Penn

October 12, 1920 — January 20, 2015

Helen M. Penn, 94, of Hiawatha, Kansas, formerly of Sharon Springs, Kansas, died January 20, 2015, at the Hiawatha Community Hospital.

Helen was born October 12, 1920, at Norcatur, Kansas, one of four children born to Clarence and Mabel (Kempf)  Foley. Helen married Vern Penn on October 22, 1939, in Gove, Kansas, and to them were born three children Varden, Marilyn, and Verlan.

Helen and Vern owned and operated Penn Distributing for approximately forty years. Helen was a Wallace County Commissioner for two terms. During her service as commissioner, she was instrumental in obtaining the grants that funded the construction of the Wallace County Ambulance Association Building in Sharon Springs. Helen was a long time member and officer in the Order of the Eastern Star, a Sunday school teacher, and a 4-H leader for the Smokey Valley 4-H club. Helen enjoyed square dancing, playing bridge, and bowling.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Mabel Foley, her brother Donald Foley, sisters Evelyn Lyon and Elsie Mae Martinez, her husband Vern Penn, daughter Marilyn Wilke, son Varden Penn, and daughter-in-law Emma Penn.

She is survived by her son Verlan and daughter-in-law Dixie, son-in-law Ken Wilke, along with 8 grandchildren: Vance Penn, Nissa Wennihan, Pennell Penn, Dana Winters, Heather Wilke, Valance Penn, Lance Wilke, and Kayla Penn; eleven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be on Saturday, January 24, at 2:00 PM MT, at the United Methodist Church in Sharon Springs, Kansas, with Reverend Paul McNall officiating. Burial will follow at the Sharon Springs Cemetery.

Friends may share their respects one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be designated  to Wallace County Ambulance Association, and may be left at the service or mailed to Koons Funeral Home, 211 N. Main, Goodland, KS  67735-1555.

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