Olive Penfield

Olive Penfield of Bradenton, Fla., formerly of Southold, passed away on Aug. 31 after a brief illness, with her daughter and granddaughter by her side. She had just celebrated her 95th birthday three days earlier.

Olive was born to Joseph and Frances (Smith) Rogers in Norwich, Conn. and grew up in Jamaica, Queens. She graduated from Jamaica High School.

In 1930 her father purchased the Tudor-style house on Cedar Beach now referred to as the “Helen Keller house.” The family spent wonderful summers there until the outbreak of World War II forced them to sell the house. In 1936, they rented the house to Miss Keller and her companion, Annie Sullivan. Olive, being a child, was not introduced to them but recalled them arriving at the house in a long black car. They seemed very imposing figures in their long dresses, but were very gracious. Olive’s mother was amazed at how aware Miss Keller was of her surroundings despite her disabilities. Until the great hurricane of 1938, there were a boardwalk and bath houses on Cedar Beach. For the rest of her life, Olive always recalled these summers in Southold, swimming and sailing on the bay with her Smith cousins, as the happiest times of her life, and always hoped to have a home of her own there.

After high school, Olive worked as a secretary in Manhattan. When World War II was over, she married her high school sweetheart, Roderic Penfield. They raised three children in Wantagh and East Setauket. Olive was for many years a volunteer at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, and served for several years as director of volunteers.   

In 1990, Rod and Olive built their retirement home in the Harbor Lights section of Southold. Many happy days were spent enjoying the view of the bay and hosting family dinners. 

Olive was predeceased by her husband; sister, Ruth; brother, Joseph, and her two beloved sons, Rod and Andrew. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Einman of Bradenton; her grandson, John Einman of Stony Brook, and her granddaughter, Kate Einman, also of Bradenton. She also leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Brady and Leila Borghesi of Bradenton.

Arrangements were private and handled by Good Earth Crematory of Bradenton.

This is a paid notice.