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Martha Marian Pennybacker

  • "Rev. Pennybacker, I am so sorry for your loss. You and..."
    - Matthew Mahone
  • "We were saddened to learn of Martha's death. We have..."
    - William Baird
  • "My heart goes out to you. I remember how your wife was so..."
  • "Dear Dr. Pennybacker and family, Martha was a sweet and..."
    - Bill & Carolyn Kimzey
  • "Dear Pennybackers: Deepest sympathy to you all on the loss..."
    - Janet Smeltz

PENNYBACKER Martha Marian Hackney, wife of Rev. Dr. Albert M. Pennybacker, Jr., died Monday, September 9, 2013, at the Richmond Place Rehabilitation and Health Center. The cause of death was her Alzheimer's illness and its consequences. Her family is especially grateful for the quality of care its staff provided. Besides her husband of 62 years, she is survived by her children: Dr. Susan Dabney Pennybacker (Prof. James A. Miller), Chapel Hill, NC; Janet Pennybacker Scott, Lexington, KY; David W. Pennybacker (Laura W.), Rowlett, TX; her grandchildren Wynston M. Penny-backer and Spencer N. Pennybacker, Rowlett, TX; a chosen daughter Dr. Sherri Phelps (Ronaldus Van Uden), Lexington, and her Harvey cousins. She has been preceded in death by her parents Dr. and Mrs. F. Russell Hackney, of Chattanooga, TN. Mrs. Pennybacker's education included Bright School and Girls Preparatory School, both of Chattanooga, and George Peabody Teachers College of Vanderbilt University, Nashville. Her B.S. degree is in Early Childhood Education. She taught at the Peabody Demonstration School's kindergarten, the first grade in Canfield, OH, the preschool program of the Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, OH, and the Carolyn Teague School, Fort Worth, TX. Much of her life has been focused on being a homemaker. She also was engaged with public issues and frequently served as a community volunteer, always with an interest in children. She worked in the Head Start Program of the Cleveland, OH, public schools, the pre-kindergarten program of the Fort Worth Independent School District, the Child Study Center of Fort Worth and as a freelance children's storyteller. She collected children's literature, with a special interest in the life and work of Beatrix Potter ('Peter Rabbit'). Her church activities reflected her personal faith commitments: teaching Sunday School in each congregation Dr. Pennybacker served as pastor: Central Christian Church, Youngstown, OH; Heights Christian Church, Shaker Heights, OH; and University Christian Church, Fort Worth, TX. In Lexington she again taught at Central Christian Church. Additionally she was a member of the Christian Women's Fellowship and active in its Circles 8 and 15. She maintained a life-long commitment to Church Women United. She has had an active interest in social issues, local and global, both in church life and in the larger world. With her husband she participated in the international assemblies of the World Council of Churches, beginning in New Delhi, India, in 1961. With her three children she took part in the Poor People's March in Washington in 1968. Her interest in the performing arts found expression in part in her own acting roles in community theater. She served on the Board of the Fort Worth Community Theater. In Lexington she has been a member of the National Society for Arts and Letters, and supportive of the Lexington Philharmonic, the UK Art Museum and the Kentucky Theater. In addition to her interest in her own family history, she served as volunteer staff to the Shaker Historical Society. She has followed with interest the work of the Kentucky Humanities Council, especially its Chautauqua program. A memorial service honoring her life will be at 10am Saturday, September 14, at the Central Christian Church, with Rev. Dr. Michael Mooty, presiding. Reserved seating will be provided for Disciples of Christ ministers and spouses as well as for present and past members of Circles 8 and 15. A graveside service at Chattanooga Memorial Park (Memorial Drive, Chattanooga) is planned for 11am Monday, September 16. Visitation will be 4-7pm Friday at Milward-Broadway. Memorials to Best Friends, Christian Care Communities, 516 Maryland Avenue, Lexington, KY 40508, the memorial fund of Central Christian Church, Lexington, and the memorial fund of First Christian Church, Chattanooga.

Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Sept. 12, 2013
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