7 January 1921 - 18 April 2014
John Kenneth Penley, known as "J.K." or "Ken" to his many friends, died at the Southwood Hospice in Calgary, 18 April 2014 at the age of 93. Ken was the son of John ("Jack") and Wahnita Penley, prominent early Calgarians whose Penley's Dancing Academy was well known and loved by several generations. He is survived by his wife and great love of seventy years, Prudence, children Linda Hubert (Ben), Gordon (Marilyn) and Donald (Dona), grandchildren Casey (Anna-Maria) and Andrew Hubert, Alex (Michelle) and Emily Pyle-Penley, Daniel and Graham Penley, great- granddaughter Brooke Dawn, niece Leah Fisher and nephew, Les Bertram. He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Wahnita Penley, his sister Nita, and nephew Lyle Bertram. Ken attended Sunnyside and Connaught Elementary Schools and Western Canada High School. After an apprenticeship with McGill Drug and the dispensary of the Calgary General Hospital, he graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta School of Pharmacy. It was there that he met classmate Prudence Bamlett. They had seventy years of happy marriage together, always an inspiring life example to their extended family. Ken served with the R.C.A.M.C. in Canada, England and North- West Europe during World War II. He and Prue were married in 1944, Ken in his Sergeant's uniform. Prior to being sent overseas, Ken was stationed in Wetaskiwin, where he and Prue made several close, life-long friends. After the war, Ken and Prue opened the first of what would eventually be three Calgary drug stores. Full partners in business as well as marriage, they prospered. Ken and Prue lived on Lansdowne Avenue where they had built in 1947. They raised their three children in this house and enjoyed many close friendships with their neighbours. They relocated to an independent living seniors' facility 11 years ago. Penley Drugs was a successful business in a number of ways. What Ken valued most was probably the personal and professional relationship established with the people who worked with him and Prue and the many customers they came to know closely over the years. Ken was the recipient of the Calgary Rotary Integrity Award in 1998, the Award of Excellence and Honorary Life Member of both the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association and the Calgary Yacht Club and Certificate of Recognition of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association. In 2011, the Alberta College of Pharmacists named Ken Alberta's Most Outstanding Pharmacist. Ken's interests were varied and he enjoyed them all. He was active with the Historical Society of Alberta and the Chinook Country Historical Society as well as the Glenbow Museum archives. He co-authored "The History of Pharmacy in Alberta" having previously interviewed a large number of Alberta's first pharmacists for the historical record. A lifelong recreational sailor, he was a mainstay of the Calgary Yacht Club (twice Commodore) and the Canadian Y-Flyer Association for many years. He was also an award winning amateur maker of wines, beers and ciders. Ken loved music all his life, having grown up in the big band era and hearing many great ones at his parent's ballroom. He played trumpet with the Brassy Bunch and the Golden Sounds. Ken's hobbies included wood carving and wood turning as well as compiling crossword puzzles with Calgary and historical themes which were published for the pleasure of others to solve. Ken was well known throughout Calgary and beyond, holding the respect, friendship and admiration of many throughout his life. He lived a rich and fulfilling life. Much loved by his family, Ken will be missed and always remembered. Ken considered himself to have been fortunate all through his life and leaves it very contented. At Ken's request, there will be no Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, one may make a donation to the United Way of Calgary, 105 - 12 Avenue S.E. No. 600, Calgary. (Telephone 403-231-6265). The family would like to thank the staff of the Southwood Hospice Calgary for their compassionate care during Ken's last days. In living memory of John Kenneth Penley, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Published in The Calgary Herald from Apr. 21 to Apr. 26, 2014