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William Penniston

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BENNINGTON -- William F. Penniston, 68, a resident of Bogtown Road in Salem, N.Y, and nick-named “Santa Claus” died Friday, Sept. 29, 2006, at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington following a hard battle with cancer.

He was born on Sept. 28, 1938, in Torrington, Conn., and was the son of the late Rhoda and Franklin Johnson, and the grandson of the late Margaret and William Penniston, who raised him.

Bill spent his life as a farmer, a garbage truck driver and retired from driving a truck for 23 years at Sega Ready Mix in Connecticut.

He enjoyed spending quiet time in Salem, N.Y., taking long rides in the country, helping Santa Claus bring joy to children and helping friends with farming during the summer months.

Bill had a great sense of humor and was a practical joker. He was a member of the Water Witch Hose Co. #2, of New Milford, Conn.

Bill is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law; Jay and Cindy, of Catskill, N.Y. and Shawn and Katie of Acra, N.Y. He has two brothers and sisters-in-law; Kenneth and Marty Johnson, of Sherman, Conn., and Walter and Roby Johnson, of New Milford, Conn. Bill also has two sisters and one brother-in-law; Patricia Johnson, of East Haven, Conn., and Sarah and Robert Wocjiekowski, of New Milford, Conn. Bill has four grandchildren; Carrie, Matthew, Carter and Dillon; and one great-granddaughter, Erin.

Bill leaves his companion, Betty Hartnett of Berlin, N.Y. and her children, Gini, Lloyd, Linda, Michael, Roy, and Tim. As well as several nieces, nephews and friends.

There will be a celebration of his life at a later date to be determined by the family. There will not be any calling hours and his burial will be private. The family would like to offer their great appreciation to the many nurses, doctors and staff at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation and the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center.

For those who desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Salem Rescue Squad, through the Mahar and Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St. Bennington, Vermont 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner on Oct. 2, 2006
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