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Richard Knight Penn

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Richard Knight Penn Obituary
Penn Richard Knight Penn. A little light left this world Saturday, April 15, 2017 with the passing of Richard Knight Penn, "Dick", adored husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, in Philadelphia, PA. For nearly 76 years he shared an infectious joy and appreciation for every aspect of living. A proud Buckeye, born in Columbus, OH, Dick Penn graduated from Bexley High School and Ohio University. After a relatively brief stint as a traveling retail salesman, Dick began his lifelong career in radio advertising sales and management. This would take him from Columbus, to Miami, to Los Angeles, to Phoenix, to Cleveland, to Chicago, to New York, to Albuquerque, to Boston, to Fort Lauderdale, to Naples, FL, to Coconut Grove, and finally to Philadelphia and Malvern, PA. As the Executive Vice President of NBC radio in New York, Dick started Talk Net, a national talk radio network, and syndicated the shows of both Sally Jesse Raphael and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Dick Penn was enviable in his appreciation for food and libation. He never met a bowl of soup he didn't like, every peach pie he ever had was the greatest he'd ever had, and the family tradition of cheese fondue every Christmas Eve was always "the best one yet." Always seeing beauty in the world- whether a high desert vista in New Mexico, a summer evening in Chicago, a California sunset, a burbling stream in Pennsylvania, or a downtown city street in Cleveland - Dick possessed a truly wonderful way of seeing things in the most positive light and savoring them for what they were and what they meant to him in that moment. Gifted with an amazing ability to articulate, Dick always enjoyed sharing his experiences with a delightful level of depth and alacrity. He also-- as a descendent of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, and signers of the Declaration of the Independence, John Penn and John Hancock-- enjoyed exploring the family connection to US history. Possibly the most relentlessly positive person on the planet, "Dick could be on a fast stagecoach to Hell and he'd say: 'I know we're on our way to hell and this chardonnay we are drinking is 120 degrees, but this is the best damn chardonnay I've ever tasted!'" - and he'd mean it. Once described as "the guy who could get all the people on an elevator talking to each other," Dick Penn was a charismatic, gregarious, loving, joyful soul who always wanted everyone to see how wonderful a place the world is. He was known for saying, without a trace of sarcasm or irony, "I just want everybody to be happy," and with him we were. Dick is survived by his loving wife, his son and daughter-in-law, his cherished grandson, his "adopted" daughter, her husband and sons, his niece and nephews, many, many, many, friends, and the enduring positivity and joy of being in the world that he instilled in all of us. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania through the web address http://GivingPages.UPENN.edu/CelebratingRKP.


Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Apr. 18, 2017
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