William (Bill) Penner
1925 ~ 2021
On July 8, 1925, Bill Penner was born in Reinland, Manitoba. Bill married the love of his life, Margaret Ens, who supported him wholeheartedly in all his endeavours. They were married for almost 50 years and had two sons, Harold and Herbert.
Growing up, Bill’s father owned the general store in Reinland, which led him to develop his own business skills and eventually open a fabric business. Prior to launching Penner's Dry Goods in Winkler, MB in the mid-sixties, Bill attended Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, helped run the family store in Reinland, drove a semi for Reimers and ran an egg-grading station.
Bill was a man of strong faith in Jesus Christ as the son of God, and the forgiveness and peace that comes through a relationship with him. He loved his Bible, reading it regularly and always enjoying discussions about faith and life. Bill loved hymns and gospel music - he had quite a cassette collection. He attended Pembina Valley Baptist Church.
Bill loved his family deeply. When Harold married Anne, he welcomed her warmly into the family. He adored each of his three grandchildren. Highlights for Bill and Margaret, as well as for their grandkids, were the day trips to fabric wholesalers with Tristan, Arlie and Raena as preschoolers. Bill always liked to relate stories of things the kids had said and done. His interest in the lives of his grandchildren continued as they grew up and he welcomed Eliza, James and Alex into the family as well; he treated them just like his ‘real’ grandchildren. He was blessed to love and be loved by his great-grandchildren - Adelaide, Callum, Lyra, Sena, Emery and Soren. They looked forward to seeing Opa and Uncle Herb each month for the family get-together and enjoyed the timbits he always brought along.
Lifelong friends and extended family were also very important to Bill. He kept in touch with Margaret’s family as well as cousins, nieces and nephews through visits and phone calls right up until the last few weeks of his life. He blessed and encouraged many through his care and concern for them. For the past 20 years, since the passing of his wife Margaret, Bill also appreciated daily chats with MaryAnne (Mimi) Zacharias, Margaret’s sister.
Bill watched every penny, but at the same time was very generous with his family and through regular support of his church and various Christian ministries. Bill lived a long life of love and integrity as a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, businessman, neighbour, and friend. He will be greatly missed.
Donations in memory of Bill Penner can be given to Wycliffe Bible Translators Canada.