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Cynthia Lynn Penningroth

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Cynthia Lynn Penningroth Obituary
Cynthia Lynn Penningroth


Cynthia Lynn (Cindy) Penningroth died February 7, 2013, at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

A memorial service will be held at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 4126 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, on February 11, 2013, at 11 a.m.

Cindy (Petrak) was born in Iowa City, Iowa, to R. Paul and Kathy (Erwin) Penningroth August 12, 1962. She began school at Longfellow in Iowa City. Because of her father's tour of duty in the Army, she moved in rapid succession to Atlanta, Georgia, schools, then to the base school at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, and ended her sojourn at Johnson Elementary in Cedar Rapids. She returned finally to Iowa City and Lemme Elementary, and completed sixth grade at Kirkwood in Coralville, Iowa. Northwest Junior High followed, and Cindy completed her tour of the Iowa City Community Schools with graduation from West High in June, 1980. Along the way, she was a cheerleader, lettered in tennis, enjoyed her friends and managed her younger sisters, perhaps not always to their liking.

Having grown to love Iowa City and its culture, the University of Iowa was her first and only choice for college. As a university freshman, she was a member of the first Paideia program, a small learning community that offered freshman classes taught by senior faculty. She thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge and insights of James Van Allen, Miriam Gilbert, and David Schoenbaum, among others. Cindy was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and served as its president. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources in June 1985.

Part of the first contingent of women to attain the position of sales representative for a major company, Cindy joined the Carnation Company, in due course becoming a territorial manager located in Phoenix, Arizona. She and William (Bill) Petrak were united in marriage July 11, 1986, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Iowa City. Following Bill's discharge from the Air Force and completion of his degree at Arizona State University, they returned to Iowa, settling in Des Moines. At that time, Cindy began a long career as a representative specializing in cancer research and treatment for several major drug companies.

Throughout her life, Cindy was a caretaker, concerned for the well-being of family and friends alike. She was admired, respected, and loved. She is survived by her mother, Kathy Penningroth and step-father, Lee Anderson of Oxford, Iowa; her father and step-mother, R. Paul and Terry Penningroth of Cedar Rapids; her husband, Bill of Urbandale; her two sons, Jacob and Nate; sisters, Ann Penningroth and her husband, Tom Kiefer of Alexandria, Virginia, Ellen Penningroth of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kathryn Penningroth of Madison, Wisconsin and Paige Penningroth of Chicago; a step-brother ,Cris Anderson and his wife, Karrie of Grimes, Iowa; half-sisters, Emily and Claire Penningroth of Iowa City and Cedar Rapids; sister-in-law, Ann Satterly and her husband, Kevin of Coralville and brother-in-law, Mike Petrak and his wife, Missy of Denver, Colorado; aunts, Kim Erwin of Waukee and Eileen Erwin of Columbus,Ohio; cousins, Elizabeth Kasson and George, Jonathan, James and Scott Erwin; eleven nieces and nephews; and eight grand-nieces and nephews; and her "sisters-in-common" the Greenwood girls.

She was preceded in death by her Penningroth and Erwin grandparents; her mother- and father-in-law, Melva and Dick Petrak, and her uncles, George and Jeff Erwin.

Online condolences may sent to the family at

Published in Des Moines Register on Feb. 10, 2013
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