Donald Dale Penner entered the world on September 12, 1937 and departed it on March 22, 2020. Don was born in Madrid, Nebraska to John and Margaret (Huebert) Penner as the sixth of eight children. Farming in the dust bowl was precarious at best, so Grandpa moved the family to Idaho in 1949. Dad went to school primarily in Notus but graduated from Middleton High School in 1955. He went to work for the J.R. Simplot Company at the age of 19 as a fork lift driver. On June 14, 1959 he married Hazel May Griffith. To that union was born Steven Donald and Angela Lynn. Hazel died from cancer in 1984. Dad later married Doris Ann Rumbaugh Madison and gained a second family of Sheryl and Robert Madison. He enjoyed his blended family and thought of them all as his own real family.
Dad’s whole working career was spent at Simplot where he worked his way up to the position of shipping and warehousing manager. The last several years he ran the company store, supplying food products for employees and non-profits throughout the valley. He retired in 2000.
While Dad worked hard, he also played hard, spending much time camping in the Idaho mountains and vacationing throughout the western U.S., taking the kids to almost every National Park within driving distance and many square dance festivals. He taught us about motorcycles, camping and square dancing. He was an life-long bowler, first at Talbot Lanes and then Caldwell Bowl, where he made many lifetime friends. After retirement, Dad and Doris traveled around the country, visiting many new locales, but always returning to the Oregon Coast as their favorite.
Dad was an avid College of Idaho Coyote basketball fan, being a season ticket holder for four decades. And when football came back, he was there for most every game. He and Doris would travel first to Branson, Missouri for the NAIA national tournament and then to Sioux Falls, South Dakota when the venue changed. They loved their Yotes and could regularly be seen in their purple and gold gear.
Dad battled cancer throughout his later years. The pain of bone cancer in the final months made life difficult and when it was his time to go, he courageously believed in a future that Jesus Christ had promised him by faith.
Don is survived by his wife, Doris Ann; his children Steve (Karen), Angie (Bryan) and Sheryl (Kirk); grandchildren Tyler, Michelle, Sydney, Brynn, Britany, Justin and Shelby; great-grandsons Parker and Noah; brothers Bob (Carol) and Lendell (Jonelle).
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Hazel; his parents; his older siblings Alton, Eldean, Arlyce, Joanne and Marlene; his son, Robert; and a great-granddaughter Amelia.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Thursday, March 26th at the Dakan Funeral Chapel from 6-8 pm. In light of the ongoing pandemic, the family asks that you pay your respects quickly and visit with the family briefly. A private family service and committal will follow on Friday. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
Memorial contributions in honor of Dad can be made by mail: The College of Idaho Attn: Development Office 2112 Cleveland Blvd. Caldwell, ID 83605 or online https://www.collegeofidaho.edu/giving/give-form.
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