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Mark Penna

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Mark Penna Winemaker, grape grower, scientist, gentleman and proud Aggie, Mark Edward Penna peacefully left this earth on December 7, 2011, in Austin, after a very courageous 3 year battle with brain cancer. Instead of a funeral, his wish was that during a good meal, family and friends should also enjoy good wine or hearty beer and think of him. His ashes will be taken to places he loved in his heart's home, the Big Bend region of Texas. The younger son of Betty Jean Luhning and Frederick Philbert Jerome Penna, Mark was born in La Marque, Texas, on April 22, 1953. Mark worked at many vineyards and wineries across the state including Pheasant Ridge, Llano Estacado, and Cap*Rock and was head winemaker at Ste. Genevieve in Ft. Stockton for several years. His interview by Wes Marshall for the first edition of "The Wine Roads of Texas" became part of family lore. In 2004 he was hired to plant the vineyard and design and run the production facilities in Driftwood for the new Mandola Estate Winery/Duchman Family Winery. Mark's wines received medals at many competitions and he was awarded the 2008 Louis F. Qualia Award from the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association. The Statesman published a tribute article with further details where friends may leave comments: http://tinyurl.com/MarkPenna The tender care by the staff of Christopher House was most appreciated by everyone. Survivors include his wife, Pam Spooner, brother, Stan Penna; sister, Lee Smith; and nephews Nathan and Dustin Penna. Suggested memorials: Our Lady of Fatima School, 1600 Ninth Avenue North, Texas City, 77950 or Grand Companions, P.O. Box 1156, Ft. Davis, 79734 or the Horticulture Dept. of Texas A&M, College Station.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Dec. 14, 2011
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