Ronald Lee Penry, Jr., 72, of Topeka, passed away Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
He was born December 11, 1950, in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Ronald and Lola (Clark) Penry. He graduated from Meriden High School in 1968 and later attended Kansas City Community College.
Ron’s priority was his family. He shared his life with his soul mate Stella, who he loved deeply til his last breath. They built a life together filled with family, friends and adventures, in their younger years often traveling to Colorado to ski and later in life enjoying the shores of Hawai’i with dear friends. His daughter Nikki and granddaughter Taylor were his princesses and he treated them as such, always their helper, protector and defender, doing any and everything ever asked to help them. His son Ryan and grandson Trenton were his pride and joy, following in his footsteps in the trades and sharing bonding moments with him like fishing that made him forever proud. His great-grandson Coban was the apple of his eye and his best buddy. Their bond was truly something special, and left a mark on both that will never be forgotten. At the age of five, Coban told him “I want to grow up to be just like you Pop Pop.”
He worked hard his entire life, with most of his career spent as a carpenter and more than a decade spent as the facilities maintenance supervisor for the University of Kansas Athletic Department. This was a dream job because he loved the KU Jayhawks. He also proudly served in the Army National Guard for thirteen years. When he wasn’t working, he loved to ride his Harley Davidson, watch sports or fish. In one of his last big adventures he took a trip to Alaska with his son and daughter to fish the rivers around the Kenai peninsula and the oceans off Homer and Seward, Alaska, a memory he and kids cherished.
Ron was a man of faith, fiercely devoted to his country, and stood by his beliefs and convictions. He knew who he was, what he believed and was true to himself and loyal to those who he loved. He was a rock for friends and family, someone who could always be counted on, and truly had a heart of gold. His authenticity and passion for never backing down from who he was and what he believed in coupled with his love and service for those he cared for meant he had a close circle of friends and family and a wide net of people who were drawn to him, loved him, and admired him.
He was strong, kind, sweet, caring, loving, compassionate, courageous, hard-working, fun, ornery and generous. Even at the end of his life, his strength and fortitude was unmatched, and he faced death with grace, courage and dignity, just as the example he always set for his children and grandchildren with any challenge.
He will be missed beyond measure and always with us til we meet again.
He is survived by his wife, Stella Penry; children, Nicole Sloup and Ryan Penry; grandchildren, Trenton Penry and Taylor Sloup; one great grandchild, Coban Meeker; his father, Ronald Penry, Sr. and siblings, Allen "Rick" Penry and Patty (David) Hill and one sister in law, Celesta Penry. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lola Penry and one brother, Randy Penry.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, October 6, 2023 from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606.
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