Funeral services with fire department honors for Michael Joseph ‘Mike’ Penner, 67, Lawrence, will be at 11 am Saturday at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Chaplain Paul Taylor officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery. Mike died Sunday, July 6, 2014, in Bucksport, Maine, after falling ill while vacationing with his wife.
He was born Apr. 24, 1947, in Newton, Kan., the son of LeRoy and Joanne. He graduated from Newton High School in 1965, where he was the class president. He attended University of Kansas and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University. Mike served the Lawrence Fire Department from 1974 to 1988, and later served the Olathe Fire Department from 1988 to 2000, where he retired as Battalion Chief. He later worked for FEMA from 2008 to 2011. Mike was the executive director of the Class of 1965 Fox Theater Renovation Project in Newton, and was a marathon runner, skier, bird enthusiast, artist, writer, and published poet.
He married Joane Nagel on May 1, 1982, in Lawrence. She survives of the home. Other survivors include a daughter, Jody Penner, Ottawa; his mother, Joanne Rash Peters, Newton; a sister, Betty Jo Schmidt and husband Richard, Salina; and a niece, Aimee Holgerson and her husband Jeff and daughters Caroline and Grace, Salina.
Friends may call from 3 pm to 8 pm Friday at the funeral home, where the family will receive them from 6 to 7:30 pm. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Kansas State Firefighters Association (KSFFA) Scholarship Fund, in care of the funeral home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044. Online condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com.