David Penz

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Sunday May 11, 2014 David Carlton Penz, 79, passed into the presence of his Lord from complications related to leukemia. A memorial service will be held at Anchorage First Baptist Church, Saturday May 17th at 1:00 p.m.

Since 1981 Dave lived at Kako Retreat Center, of which he was founder and director, having previously ministered in various interior villages (Cantwell, Shageluk, Grayling, Kaltag, Stony River, and McGrath) from 1962 to 1972, and in Soldotna and Anchorage until 1980.

Born in Rochester, MN, in high school Dave learned to fly, a skill used extensively throughout his life. While serving in the Army at Ft. Richardson (1954-1956), he married Janet Mulholland (b1937, d1986). After attending Moody Bible Institute they returned to Alaska, serving with Arctic Missions.

Dave was highly regarded throughout Alaska for his integrity, love for the people of bush villages, piloting, and practical mechanical and engineering skills. He reveled in creating unique solutions to the many challenges of life in the Alaskan bush. He created and ran Camp Inowak near Stony River for kids in Kuskokwim area, and in 1980 he left Arctic Missions to develop the gold mine at Kako into a Retreat Center specifically to encourage YK residents. He married Vera Kelley in 1988. Together they worked to establish facilities, programs, and staff to turn Kako into a safe place for people to connect and to mature in their relationship with Jesus. Bringing people to Jesus was Dave's passion and joy.

Preceded in death by his parents, Carlton and Ruth Penz; brother, Howard; and wife, Janet; Dave leaves behind his wife, Vera Penz; siblings, Lowell Penz, Calvin Penz, and Jan Perkins; children, Jeanne Rodkey, Valerie, Dianne, and Jonathan Penz; son in law, John Rodkey; daughter in law, Sharon Penz; Jeanne's children, Elissa, Krista, Adelle, and Erik Rodkey; step-daughter, Deborah Holland and her husband, Mark; Debbie's children, Amanda Crain, Justin Holland, and KyLeah Holland; and Debbie's grandchildren: Jonah, Luke, Elijah, and KayLynn.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kako Retreat Center, PO Box 29, Russian Mission, AK 99657.

Published in Alaska Dispatch News from May 15 to May 16, 2014
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