Gerald Penney
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Obituary of Gerald Penney

It is with profound sadness that the Penney Family announces the passing of their husband, father, son and brother on April 5, 2020.  Surrounded by the love of his wife and daughters Gerald peacefully passed away at his home in Cambridge, Ontario. He was 67 years of age.

Born on July 14, 1952, Gerald was the eldest of eleven children born to James and Lottie Penney of Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland. As a small child he was carefree, fearless and mischievous with a perpetual grin that endeared him to everyone who knew him. As a young boy he dreamed of travelling the world. While attending St. Michael's high school in Grand Falls, Gerald joined the Newfoundland Militia with the intent of joining the Canadian Armed Forces. The wait time for being accepted into the military was several years, prompting Gerald to move to Ontario in search of employment.

In 1971 while living with relatives in Scarborough, he was hired as a warehouse worker at Warner Lambert Pharmaceuticals where he met Patrick Whalen. The two of them hit it off straight away and became best friends. On October 1, 1972 Gerald’s friend Pat introduced him to 19 year old Linda Kuzyk. They became close friends sharing with and caring for each other. In mid 1974 Gerald decided it was time to chase his dream of travelling the world. In 1975 he embarked on the first of three trips to Europe. He returned in 1976 where he spent much of his time in Greece, one of his favourite countries. In 1979 he returned to Greece and travelled around Europe for the last time. In between trips to finance his travel addiction Gerald worked as a miner/blaster in Elliot Lake, Ontario and Flin Flon, Manitoba.

In 1981 Gerald traded his travel dream for another more permanent one.He began building his retirement home in his hometown of Bishop's Falls. That same year a devine twist of fate and Pat Whalen led Gerald back to Ontario where he and Linda reconnected. They married on June 26, 1984. Their first daughter Lauren was born on August 18, 1985 and on May 12, 1988 the birth of daughter Meaghan completed the family.

In 1986 Gerald purchased a business in Bishop's Falls. The family moved to Newfoundland in October 1986 where they lived for 17 years. When daughter Lauren was accepted to the University of Guelph in Ontario Gerald and Linda felt the time was right to relocate back to Ontario where Gerald joined the Centimark Roofing Company.

Whether he was flipping burgers, blasting rock under a glacier or polishing concrete floors, Gerald's work ethic was solid, strong and dependable. He always went above and beyond to do the best job possible, whether he was on the job or helping a friend put up a fence. Without hesitation he would step in when needed to provide support, advice and guidance and a helping hand. Throughout his life, what he gave of himself was far more than he ever got in return and he was happy with that. Not once did he complain .

Lovingly remembered as mostly a quiet man Gerald disliked conflict, avoided confrontation and was uncomfortable being the centre of attention. He would sit quietly listening to a conversation storing up the details for the opportune moment. He was a trusted man of integrity with a generous spirit and heart of gold. Honest, loyal, humble, respectful, responsible, self-disciplined. He was sensible, real and true to himself. He was serious when he had to be but also knew how to have a good time . His easy going manner and ability to laugh at himself made him a pleasure to be around. Those who knew him will miss his quick wit, dry sense of humour and gentle teasing. He will be lovingly remembered by those whose lives he touched for his mischievous grin, helping hands, quiet ways. Always kind, never judgmental Gerald treated everyone with respect and kindness.

To his wife and daughters Gerald was their safe harbour, their protector, provider and rock. He was the voice of reason and calming influence in the midst of chaos. There was nothing he enjoyed more than spending time with family. He loved hosting family gatherings where he could prepare and enjoy a good meal and share a laugh in the company of those he loved most.

As a father Gerald was a natural. He absolutely adored his girls and delighted in providing them with a safe, happy and secure home. He taught his daughters to be self-reliant, independent, responsible, diligent and hard working. At an early age he taught them the value of a dollar and the importance of saving and investing their money. By his example Gerald encouraged his daughters to do their very best in all situations, not to take themselves too seriously and to always make time for fun. Above all he assured them that no matter what he would always be there for them if they needed him.

Gerald adored and deeply loved his family. Even in the absence of a physical body he will continue to guide and watch over them as he is now their guardian angel.

In 2019 Gerald was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. He fought his disease with hope and courage and brought a certain strength to those around him. Not once did he complain, feel sorry for himself or wonder why me? He was more concerned about his family's feelings often comforting them with a gentle hug and words of encouragement.

Without him our lives are emptier, our hearts broken and our spirits crushed. It is a small comfort that we carry some part of him and through us his generous spirit lives on in ever growing ways. He has left an indelible mark on the souls of those whose lives he touched and we will forever be grateful for his undeniable and immeasurable presence in our lives.

Covid has made this a very hard time and the family would like to say, “ Thank You”, to everyone who supported them through this difficult time.   A private service will take place at Hoskins Funeral Home, Bishop's Falls followed by the interment at The Sacred Heart Cemetery.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Gerald
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hoskins Funeral Homes-Bishop's Falls
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