Joan Penrod

A memorial service for Joan “Ann” Penrod, who died Dec. 11, 2014, in Saint Petersburg, Fla., was held at the Orient Cemetery Sept. 1 in Orient. Following her wishes, Ann’s ashes were placed on the grave of her mother, Rachel Edwards. Orient is the ancestral home of the Edwards family and held a special place in Ann’s heart, as it did and does for the extended Edwards family.

Born in Melrose, Mass., Jan. 11, 1919, to the late Mahlon and Rachel Hill, Ann lived in Newton, Mass. until 1935, when she moved to the home of her grandfather Edwards (now the Orient Inn). Ann attended Northfield School for Girls after her move to Orient and became an independent photographer before joining the U.S. Navy at the onset of World War II, serving as a specialist in the WAVEs from 1942 to 1945, which is where she met her husband, Thomas Penrod. Thomas and Ann were married at the end of the war and lived in Olney, Md. for a number of years.

Moving her family to Florida in 1965 following the death of her husband, Ann settled in Saint Petersburg Beach where she managed several small hotels, all situated along the beach. Her favorite was Bennet Beach Apartments which enjoyed many repeat winter guests each year, many of whom came back each year due to Ann’s positive and welcoming spirit.

In attendance at the memorial service were her son Mark and his partner, Debbi Worster and grandson, Alex. Also in attendance were Ann’s sister, Nancy Peck of Portland, Maine and Nancy’s three children, Susan and her husband, Phil, Steve and Matt. The surviving family of Ann’s older and deceased sister, Patricia Gillispie also attended and included son David and his wife, Roda, son Peter and grandson David III.

Ann wanted “no fuss” to be made by all in attendance. Many spoke of idiosyncrasies and an outlook that made Ann so unique, from rolling her own cigarettes up to her early 90s to treating an underage grandniece and nephew who were visiting to a drink at a local hotel. Nancy spoke lovingly of her sister and said she still very much misses her fearless and un-judgemental sister, who was selfless and generous to all and to whom life was an adventure. Nancy recalled Ann’s trip to New Zealand and Australia, nearly two months in length, and how Ann lovingly prepared and froze liver and meat dinners to be given to her beloved dog, Smoky, by the custodians in her absence. Recounting how much Ann loved her family and friends and how Ann forged ahead through any adversity life presented, Nancy spoke of the daily afternoon telephone calls she and Ann had – always at 4 p.m. – in the last few years of Ann’s life. They would talk of all things and sometimes nothing, but the call was always at 4.

Following the memorial service, family gathered at David and Roda’s home for appetizers and then concluded their remembrance of Ann at dinner at Claudio’s Restaurant in Greenport.

Ann Penrod will be missed by her family and friends and her spirit lives on in the generations of family that follow.

This is a paid notice.