Martha E. Penner died Jan. 10, 2018, at Casa Palo Duro in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was 86.
Born June 11, 1931, in Hillsboro, Martha was the second of three daughters of parents Abraham C. and Laura Campbell Eitzen.
Martha’s father was the town physician, and her mother was a homemaker extraordinaire.
Growing up in Hillsboro she was surrounded by many relatives of her father and visited her mother’s family in Kansas City often.
She learned to play piano and organ competently. Martha was very social and made good friends wherever she lived.
She was known for being a hard worker and for her great sense of humor. She was fun-loving and had a wonderful ability to put people at ease.
Martha was a wonderful wife and mother. She attended Tabor College in Hillsboro for one year, where she met future husband Dan C. Penner.
They married Sept. 9, 1950, at the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.
Settling in Dinuba, California, near where Dan had been raised, Martha went to work for the local phone company as a telephone operator.
Three years later they were living in Wasco, California, where Dan had found a job at Maple Leaf Enterprises.
Sons Steven and Douglas were born during this time in 1954 and 1957.
In 1966 the family moved to Tahoe City, California, where Dan worked for Cal Gas. Martha continued to work as a homemaker and at the local elementary school.
Moving to Dixon, California, in 1968 for two years and then to Truckee, California, Martha worked as a bookkeeper, dental assistant and receptionist while Dan moved up in management positions with Cal Gas.
Around 1980 Dan and Martha opened their own business called Truckee Heating and Sheet Metal, where Martha served as bookkeeper.
Retiring to Albuquerque in 1993, Martha and Dan became very active at Hope Church. She also enjoyed reading and gardening.
Martha’s husband, Dan, passed away in 2010. They had been married for 59 years.
She is survived by sons Steven and wife Loree of Monkton, Maryland, and Douglas and wife Eileen Baca-Penner of Albuquerque grandchildren Erin and husband Joshua Gallegos of Prague, Czech Republic; Avram Penner and wife Mandy of Albuquerque; Francesca Penner of Houston, Texas; and David Penner of New London, Connecticut; great-grandson Asher Daniel Penner-Kraft of Albuquerque; sister Esther Eitzen Plenert of Fresno, California; four nieces; and one nephew.
She was preceded in death by sister Eloise Eitzen Jost in 2008.
A private memorial service will be held on Feb. 24 in Albuquerque. Interment at Ebenfeld Cemetery in Hillsboro, Kansas will take place at a later date.
Gifts may be made to a Memorial Fund at World Vision, https://donate.worldvision.org/giftcatalog.
If you wish to contact the family, please call Douglas Penner at (505) 620-1463.