Theo Mae Westlund Penny was born on November 4, 1931 in Topeka, KS and left this Earth peacefully in her sleep, on December 6, 2020 from The Windsor of Lawrence, KS.
Growing up in Topeka, Theo graduated from Topeka High School in 1949. She attended Bethany College in Lindborg, KS in 1950. She graduated from Ottawa University in 1953 and was a member of Sigma Iota Psi sorority. She then attended the University of Kansas, obtaining an MS in Education in 1960, with a focus in Speech and Hearing.
Theo was active in theatre and drama during her high school and college years.
She taught Sophomore English and Speech Therapy at Ottawa High School and was a speech therapist at the University of Kansas and Lawrence schools.
She was married on June 26th, 1954 to Stanley D. Penny of Lawrence, KS.
Theo was a long time member of the EA Chapter of PEO.
Her work history also included owning and managing rental property, working at The Jones Store, The Turquoise Shop, the University of Kansas Preschool, and the Lawrence High School attendance office until she was diagnosed with Dystonia (Spasmodic Torticollis) in 1984, a disabling neurological disease.
Theo loved to have fun and would quote Dr Seuss’s “It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how”. Playing bridge, needlepoint, painting, poetry, family history, spending time on the computer and traveling were some of her favorite hobbies. Her Swedish heritage inspired a trip to Sweden and a love for all things blue and yellow. Jazz Music was a big part of her fun and she was known to dine with Count Basie, Jay McShann and others.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Edmund C. Westlund and Ella V. (Lindholm) Westlund, her brother Merrill L. Westlund, and her former husband, Stanley D. Penny.
Survivors include her son, Dean W. Penny and wife Sheri Penny, of Lawrence, KS, her daughter, Kirsten “Missy” Penny and husband Jeff Allen of Lawrence, KS, and four grandchildren: Kristin Penny and fiancé Cole Frye, Michael Penny, Nicholas Allen and Christopher Allen. Survivors also include her brother’s widow Elaine and current husband Jon London and their children Kim, Tod, Peggy, and Elaine and Jon’s son Alex.
No services are planned at this time. Her remains will be scattered in Sweden at a later date.
Per her request, donations may be made to Unity of Lawrence Church c/o Rumsey Yost.