Traverse City Record-Eagle


February 2, 2014

Willis Joseph 'Joe' Pennington

WILLIAMSBURG — Willis Joseph Pennington, 80, known to his family and friends as Joe, passed away Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at his home

Joe was born on Friday, Dec. 15, 1933, to the late Willis and Edna Gretchen (Haviland) Pennington Jr. in Traverse City. Joe was very proud of his family’s roots in the Interlochen area, where his grandfather was a businessman and donated the land for the National Music Camp in Interlochen.

Joe married Margery Mae Lichty on June 3, 1952, in Traverse City. She preceded him in death on Nov. 16, 1996. On April 10, 1998, in Traverse City, he married Connie Arnold, who survives.

He was formerly employed by Standard Oil Company and previously a distributor for Marathon Oil Company, both of Traverse City. He retired as a dispatcher for Schmuckal Oil Company.

Joe had been a life member of Traverse City Elks Lodge #323, where he served in various offices, including Exalted Ruler, treasurer and tiler. He also was a former member of the Antique Car Club of Traverse City. Joe was a member of the Twin Bay British Car Club of Traverse City.

Joe is survived by his wife, Connie; by his sons, Harvey Joseph “Jay” Pennington and Willis Jeffrey “Bill” Pennington; a daughter, Kathie Lynne Bannister; and two grandchildren, Zachary Arthur Pennington and Joeena Mae Pennington.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will take place Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 6 until 8 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. The service for Joe will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, under the auspices of Elks Lodge #323, also at the funeral home. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

The family would ask that Joe be remembered through memorial contributions to the Elks Major Project Fund, The Cherryland Humane Society or to a charity of your own choosing.

Please share memories with the family by visiting Joe’s tribute wall at

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