You are here: Home / Passages / A Celebration of Life for Evelyn Penner (1928-2013), Aug. 31
A Celebration of Life for Evelyn Penner (1928-2013), Aug. 31
August 8, 2013 - By Teresa Penner
She always held on to the love.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE PENNER FAMILY
Evelyn Penner and her family have lived
in Topanga for 66 years.
A memorial gathering for Evelyn Penner is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 31, at Froggys Restaurant in Topanga from 1-4 p.m. All who knew Evelyn are welcome to join her family in a celebration of her life.
Evelyn Sanders was born in Tennessee on Oct. 28, 1928. She was from a large family with three brothers and four sisters. Evelyn left home at the age of 15 and traveled to New York to live with her newly wedded sister, Francis.
Through a solid work ethic they saved enough money to drive across the country to California where she met John Penner. Evelyn worked as a carhop and John as a bartender. They were married in San Juan Capistrano on Aug. 30, 1947.
Later that year they bought their home on Observation Drive where the Penner family lived the Topanga Life together. Evelyn remained a loyal and loving wife until John passed away on their 56th wedding anniversary, Aug. 30, 2002.
John and Evelyn Penner on their wedding day in 1947.
Full of good sense, ever helpful and wise, Evelyns life in Topanga included being a caring and loving mother to her three children, Max, Heidi and Karen; grandmother to Serena, Alia, Lauren, Kaelin, Hans, Bridgette and Triana and great-grandmother to Seth and Solomia.
She took pride in many of the things Canyon-wise women had to learn to survive up heredriving the tractor, clearing four acres of brush, handling fires, floods or helping the sick (humans or animals)and managed emergencies of all kinds with skillful aplomb. She definitely got things done, be it gardening, raising chickens, chickens, horses and a burro.
Neighbors Terry and Roy Nakawatase say, We felt we had struck it rich when we met Eve and John Penner, when we moved here in the winter of 1964. Having such wonderful, genuine and friendly neighbors made us realize that we unknowingly located our future in the midst of a canyon-style paradise.
Eves well-rounded repertoire included sewing the kids marvelous costumes and the girls dresses and bikinis. Many a Canyon teenager came to Eve for help with a prom dress or hairdo.
The friends of the Penner kids always went to Eve for solid advice when they needed a shoulder to lean on. She had the confidence of many who knew that they could turn to her in trust.
A fantastic cook and baker, many of the family photographs feature Eves skillfully decorated cakes. An expert canner, her fresh, wild-caught tuna and plum jam were just a few of the things she was famous for. The cooking and baking skills have been passed down through the generations.
The grandkids were always in an apron on a stool next to Grandma, cracking eggs into batter; she never minded the mess they made.
She was always taking a plate of dinner to the elderly in the neighborhood and was active in fundraising efforts to build the Topanga Community House.
Evelyn and Shatzi at Mill Creek in the 1970's.
An inveterate antique collector, she combed the swap meets and estate sales hunting for treasures. When the kids grew up and were out of the house, she took up tennis and toured Europe with her sisters.
Later, she also gave ballroom dancing and bowling a whirl.
Wherever she ventured, she was dressed beautifully and developed the skills necessary to accomplish any task that she set her mind to.
Eve could be strong and tenacious when required and to her family she will be remembered as a very loving and nurturing woman.
In the end Evelyn lost much of her memory but as her granddaughter Bridgette wrote, She always held on to the love.