About Petersen's

We're caring and experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions.

We're located on Main Street in Newton, Kansas. We invite you to stop by to browse our facilities, and discuss your pre-planning needs at any time!

Ernst “Ernie” Penner

September 18, 2015

Ernst Penner 86, died, Friday September 18, 2015 at Kidron Bethel Healthcare in North Newton, Kansas. He was born May 13, 1929 in Danzig, Germany to Franz and Marie (Froese) Penner. On September 6, 1959 he married Shirley Weaver and she preceded him in death on October 20, 2011. “Ernie” acquired his nickname after he came to America as an adult. He and his twin brother grew up as typical farm boys of the era. Life for his two older brothers was not so carefree. Germany was at war and they became soldiers. When Ernie was 15 life became very serious. Enemy forces were moving across the area and confiscated and occupied whatever they wanted. Civilians abandoned their homes and farms and became refugees. Amid all the confusion his father became ill. Medical help was not available and he died leaving his wife and 4 young sons. They managed to escape to the American zone but even then life was hard. Their diet was supplemented by care packages from America, but it was still meager. Eventually the brothers worked their way into the economy and Ernie chose to immigrate to the United States. Here he enrolled at Hesston College. His outgoing roommates made him feel welcome and along with his teachers taught him the English language. He spent two years working as an orderly at KU medical center in Kansas City. Bethel Hospital sent their students on 3 month rotations to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. One of the student nurses was to become his future wife Shirley Weaver. They were married on September 6, 1959. They built a home in Kansas City where Ernie worked for a construction company. He later joined Hesston Corp and moved to Hesston, KS. In 1943 Ernie and his twin brother were Baptized in the Laddekop Mennonite Church in Germany. While living in Kansas City he and his wife were active in the Rainbow Mennonite Church. After moving to Newton they joined the Faith Mennonite Church. Ernie was a loyal employee and that loyalty carried over to his home and church life.

He is survived by his children Tony (Tammy) Penner of Kansas City , KS and Judy (Cara) Penner of Wichita, KS; granddaughters: Nicole (Bryce) Alderson of Shawnee, KS, Danielle (Brady) Schleicher of Kansas City and Baylee Penner of Kansas City; He also has 4 great grandchildren: Lillian, Madelyn, Landon and Mason and a brother Herbert of Germany

Ernie is preceded in death by his parents, wife, twin brother Heinz and brother Walter.

Graveside Committal service will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 25, 2015 at Greenwood Cemetery in Newton. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton with Chaplain Eric Massanari presiding.

Memorials are suggested to Kidron Bethel in care of Petersen Funeral Home.

Print this obituary

4 thoughts on “Ernst “Ernie” Penner

  1. Dear Tony, Tammy, Judy, Cara and families,

    Ernie was such a wonderful man and we have so many fond memories of the times we spent with him. His sense of humor was great, always enjoying and sharing good jokes.

    We will miss him so much and know that his death will leave a big hole in your hearts and lives.

    May God grant peace and healing to all of you in the days and weeks ahead.

    Love, Mike

  2. Ernie Penner a life well lived. Thinking of his later days at the home. In declining health but he always enjoyed our company. His smile and handshake were sufficient when words were few. His reward unspeakable with the pains of life no more. How you live your life matters and Ernie got that.

  3. Ernie Penner a life well lived. Thinking of his final days at the home. In declining health but he always enjoyed our company. His smile and handshake were sufficient when words were few.The reward unspeakable with the pain of life no more. How you live your life matters and Ernie got that.

  4. Ernie Penner a life well lived. Thinking of his later days at the home. In declining health but he always enjoyed our company. His smile and handshake were sufficient when words were few.
    His reward now unspeakable with the pains of life no more. How you live your life matters and Ernie understood that.

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *