MADISON/FITCHBURG – S. Joan Penn, age 83, passed away on Sunday, September 8, 2019. Joan was a teacher and a student; a wife, mother and grandmother; a friend and neighbor. To each of these roles she brought insatiable curiosity and boundless creativity. She lived to learn, and to share her joy in learning with others.
Joan was born in Zanesville, Ohio, the elder daughter of Everett and Dorothy Wigger. She flourished in school, winning many awards and prizes for her talents. She graduated from Wittenberg University and earned her Master’s Degree from Butler University. It was natural, then, that she would choose teaching as a career—not simply because she excelled in the classroom, but because she understood its power. Over three decades of teaching, she challenged students to explore their subjects with imagination and humor.
After retiring in Madison, Joan became a student again, taking classes with the senior learning group PLATO and later serving as the group’s president. She loved the books of Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and American colonial history. She created rich playrooms for her grandchildren, full of handmade toys and dolls, each with its own story.
Joan and her husband, Tom Penn, recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of their marriage on August 22, 1959. She will be greatly missed—by Tom, her companion through so many years and caretaker in her later years; by her three children, Sandy (Andy Wroblewski), Doug (Allison Rymsza) and Mike (Patty Dutile); by her four grandchildren, Rachel, Allison, Grace and Alex; her niece Stephanie Grim Thomas (Kevin Thomas) and nephews Scott Grim and Chris Penn; and by all the people who knew her, who laughed and learned with her. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Marilyn Wigger Grim and Tom’s parents William K. and Grace M. Penn and brother James K. Penn.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30PM on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at WATERFORD AT FITCHBURG, 5440 Caddis Bend. A visitation will be held from 1:30PM until the time of service at Waterford.
A special thanks to the caregivers at Agrace Hospice. In lieu of flowers we encourage donations to the Verona Public Library at www.veronapubliclibrary.org/friends or a library of your choice. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
220 Enterprise Drive
There's still time to send flowers to the Visitation at the Waterford at Fitchburg from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM on September 28, 2019.
Directly place your order here and save money on wire service fees. Our system automatically takes care of scheduling the delivery with our local florist to meet the upcoming service.