Services for Easter M. Pennington, 75, Lawrence, will be 2 pm, Saturday, February 1, 2014, at Victory Bible Church. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Easter Mary Pennington of Lawrence, Kansas went home to be with the Lord on January 25, 2014.
She was born January 13, 1939, in Cameta, Mississippi to the late Johnny McClain and Phyllis Marie Demby. Easter was the sixth child of eleven children. Her parents quickly discovered she was a special child who was gifted with many talents. One of the talents was playing the piano. She started playing at age 4. She learned to play the piano by ear and soon after became the church pianist. As she grew older they realized that she had a beautiful singing voice. She became the lead soloist of the choir at The Church of God. As a teenager she opened the church’s weekly broadcast by singing “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone”. In addition to be artistically talented, Easter had a strong drive to go to school and learn as much as she can. She graduated from Simmons High School in 1957 and was Valedictorian of her class. She was offered a full music scholarship but turned it down because she wanted to get married and start a family. On August 4, 1957, she married Earl Pennington. To this union was born four daughters: Linda, Lisa, Vanessa, and Jacqueline. The marriage ended and Easter became a single mother. She was a loving, devoted mother. She taught them to love the Lord and the importance of being part of a Bible based church. Even though she sometimes had to work 3 different jobs in order to make ends meet, get certified to be a pre-school teacher. She went to school in the evenings and on weekends. She had a special affinity with young children. Her love for children enabled her to work in early childhood education for more than thirty five years. After raising her biological children to adulthood, she became a foster parent for several children and adopted three more children: Danielle, Shamar and Lee Andrew. Even after she “retired” she still worked 3 part-time jobs up until she became ill due to complications with Diabetes.
She served in the Church of God in Kansas City, Missouri faithfully as a musician, singer, teacher, church secretary, and was appointed as a Church Mother by the late Elder Murvin Dean. She was known for her giving and words of encouragement and inspiration. For the past year, Easter resided at the Legacy on 10th nursing facility. While there, she received a commendation for her work as a volunteer. Even though her vision was very limited, she enjoyed playing the piano and singing for the residents. She provided love and inspiration to the people who lived there and to the people who came to visit.
Easter was proceeded in death by her parents, and five siblings; Rebecca Dean, Richard Demby, Beau Demby, Frank Demby, Bobby Funchess, and Dorcus Taylor. She leaves to cherish her beloved memory: seven children, Linda Pennington-Pearl, Lisa Jewsome (Jeff), Vanessa Rials (Jerry), Jacqueline Fitzgerald (Paul), Danielle Demby Pennington (Arturo Vega, Jr.), Shamar Nelson Pennington, Lee Andrew Mitchell Pennington; more than twenty Grandchildren; three sisters, Lessie Mae Rhodes, Gladys Turner, and Phyllis Fulton; one brother Samuel Demby (Florence); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.