Joseph Mason Pennington, born March 31, 1934, in East St. Louis, Ill., died Friday, July 15, 2016.
He graduated from East St. Louis Senior High in 1953 where he played varsity basketball, and American Legion and Optimist baseball. He entered the United States Air Force in July 1953. Joseph served 20 years in the Air Force, and rose to rank of Senior Master Sargent. The Air Force took him to 6 of the 7 continents. He lived in Japan, France, and The Netherlands. He served in Saudi Arabia and McMurdo Station Antarctica. He played softball for his Air Force units and while in The Netherlands realized his dream of coaching high school basketball.
After retirement from the Air Force with an Honorable Discharge he was employed as the Assistant Manager of the Ramada Inn in Gallup, N.M.; became a Quality Assurance Director with Ramada Inns Corporate, and traveled all over the United States. He was a turnaround specialist for several hotel properties preparing them to be sold. He was General Manager of the Ramada Inn in Santa Fe, N.M., including managing the attached night club Mr. R's. He finished his work career as the Administrative Manager of a Construction Company.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus in California. He was an active member of the Lions Club in Gallup, N.M., where he served as hospitality chairman for the annual rodeo, and was awarded Cowboy of the Year. He was a member of the St. Jerome's parish council and later became administrator for the parish.
He was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinal fan, and a devoted Dallas Cowboy fan.
He was preceded in death by his Joe and Lucille, nee Johnson, Pennington; his first born son; two sisters, Margie Deichmann, and Regina Casson.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory are his high school sweetheart and wife, Marie, Catherine, nee Trione, Pennington, whom he married on Dec. 26, 1953; to this union six children were born, his daughter, Jan (Kurt); his sons, Jeffrey (Lamar), James (Suzie) and Jon (LiAnn); his daughter, Julie (Mike); his brother, Ron (Tracey); ten grandchildren, Michelle, Jennifer, Melanie, Jeremy, Jami, Michael, Chad, Jonathan, Amber and Emily; and 23 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to the Knights of Columbus. Donations made out to the Knights of Columbus can be mailed to: George Tetreault, 411 Birdie Ct. SE, Rio Rancho, N.M. 87124. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit: www.danielsfuneral.com.
Service: Joseph was a member of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parrish in Rio Rancho, N.M. His interment will be in the Rosario Catholic Cemetery in Santa Fe, N.M.
DANIELS FAMILY FUNERAL SERVICES, Rio Rancho, N.M.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on July 20, 2016