James William Penley Jr.

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James William Penley, Jr.


A Celebration of Life service for Jim Penley will be held Saturday, August 3, 2013, 11 a.m. at Central United Methodist Church in Decatur.

Mr. Penley died at home, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, following a long illness. He was born September 26, 1946, in Chattanooga, Tennessee to James William Penley and Frances Parker Penley, each of whom preceded him in death.

He graduated from Baylor Military Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia - lettering four years in football - and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. He achieved highest honors from each of these institutions.

He served his country for over 35 years, as both soldier and civil servant, playing a key role in the development of the nation's current missile defenses.

Mr. Penley was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fishing, kayaking, golf and walking his dogs. He coached his sons through years of youth sports, and most recently dedicated his last few summers mentoring his grandsons in the same.

He is survived by his wife, Suzette Lee Penley; sons, Jamie Penley (Melissa) and John Penley (Sue Ellen) both of Decatur; daughter, Catherine Penley Belew (Kane) of Birmingham; four grandchildren, William Penley, Harris Penley, Margaret Penley and Jack Belew; and two sisters, Janice Penley Keene and Phyllis Penley Owens (Mike) both of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Decatur National Dixie Youth Baseball, The Humane Society of Decatur or PACT.
Published in the Decatur Daily on July 7, 2013