LAKELAND - Eleanora (Kampschmidt) Pennekamp, 91, of Lakeland, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died Monday, December 10th, 2012, surrounded by her children. She had been a resident of The Florida Presbyterian Homes for the past five years, and of their assisted living and nursing facilities where she received wonderful care, for the past year.
Mrs. Pennekamp was born on June 2, 1921 in Wadena, MN, and spent her childhood in Greensboro, NC, where her father was a professor and later President of Immanuel Lutheran College. A graduate of Greensboro Women's College, she taught high school science and worked as a chemist before marrying her high school sweetheart, Elfried Pennekamp. They were married for 57 years. They raised their five children in Westfield, NJ, Brussels, Belgium, and later Bloomfield Hills, MI, where her husband led various parts of Exxon's global chemical businesses.
They moved to Lakeland from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1981. Mrs. Pennekamp was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Lakeland, where she sang in the choir, was a Stevens minister, an active volunteer and a member of The Ruth Circle. She led Bible studies for most of her life, and was still doing so in her home until a year ago. She was also a volunteer for Talbot House and a docent at the Polk County Museum of Art for many years. She was made an honorary alumna of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, where she served on the board of directors for 15 years. She also served on the board of the Lutheran Deaconess Association for 10 years.
Mrs. Pennekamp was preceded into death by her husband, Elfried, her bother, William Kampschmidt, of St. Paul, MN, her parents, William and Irma Kampschmidt, of Greensboro, NC, and Homestead, FL, her sister, Verona Koselke, of Oneida, FL, three grandchildren, Ricky Pennekamp, Nicole Unrath, and Michael John Dimon.
Mrs. Pennekamp is survived by her five children and their spouses, Susan (Jim) Hooker of Bluffton, SC, Fred (Cynthia) Pennekamp of Jenkintown, PA, Jim (Marlene) Pennekamp of Granite City, IL, Ron (Barb) Pennekamp of Lakeland, Anita (Tom) Unrath of Melbourne, FL, sixteen grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be Thursday evening, December 13, 7-8:30 pm at Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens. The funeral service will be at 11:00 on Friday morning at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Harden Boulevard, Lakeland, with Interment immediately following at Lakeland Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the St. Paul Lutheran School- Scholarship Fund, 4450 Harden Blvd, Lakeland FL 33813.