Obituary of Bob Pennington
Lawrence Robert Pennington, 96, of Lake Bluff, IL passed away on September 12, 2023. He was born to the late Robert and Irene Pennington in Oklahoma City, OK on December 26, 1926. He moved to Frankfurt, KS when he was 2 months old.
When the US entered WW2, Bob was a high school freshman playing in the band and participating in basketball and track. After graduation in 1944, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and trained as a naval aviator. During his 18 months with the Navy, he played French horn for the orchestra, and attended classes at Marquette and Tulane. Bob was close to deployment when WW2 ended. Almost 70 years later, Bob would board an Honor Flight to Washington, DC where he was recognized for his service.
Bob met the love of his life, Nina Mae Pennington in Frankfort, KS, and they were married in 1947. They celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in December. They celebrated a beautiful life together, full of travel, adventure and most importantly, family. His love for Nina kept him motivated throughout each of his last days, and he looks forward to when they will reunite again.
He was a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law in 1950. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He had a lifelong love of the Jayhawks. Bob led the way to what would become a significant family tradition at the University of Kansas. The family has four generations of KU Jayhawks, and Bob hoped the legacy will continue.
In 1950, he moved his family to Chanute, KS where he began his law practice. He served the community for almost 50 years as city and county attorney. He was elected judge of the city court and appointed to the US District Court for Kansas. Actively involved in the city, Bob was a member of the Presbyterian Church, American Legion, Lion’s Club, Elks, Shriners, Chamber of Commerce, the Chanute Country Club, and Masonic Lodge 103.
Bob had many passions and hobbies including golfing, raising greyhounds for racing, restoring old cars, flying Cessnas, jeeping in Colorado, and pheasant hunting. While Bob enjoyed traveling to new places, he treasured his time with family and friends at the family cabin in Colorado and vacation home in Grand Lake, OK.
Bob retired in 1998 after 48 years of practicing law in Chanute. He and Nina moved to Arizona where they enjoyed 14 years of playing golf, hosting family and friends, and traveling throughout North America and Europe. He and Nina moved to Grayslake, IL in 2013 to be closer to family. Due to increasing health needs, they moved to the Sheridan of Green Oaks in 2022.
In what the family lovingly calls the Boppie Tales, Bob recounts highlights from his life to include playing poker with Harry Truman, being drilled by his physical education teacher Phog Allen, representing the legal interests of Menachem Begin and Shirley MacClaine, selling a vacuum cleaner to Jason Robards, and playing golf with Evil Kneivel.
Bob’s long list of accomplishments speaks to his character and the heart he had for serving, caring, and living life to its fullest.
Bob was preceded by his daughter, Carol Herwig, and son-in-law, Joseph Groner. He is survived by his wife, Nina; his daughter, Nancy Lee Groner, Mundelein, IL; his son, Douglas Robert Pennington (Kim), Bogart, GA; his son-in-law, Steven Herwig (Donna), Las Vegas, NV; grandchildren Aaron Herwig (Margo) of Overland Park, KS, Megan Potter (Chris) of Cedarburg, WI, Melissa Sallmann (Bob) of Green Oaks, IL, Margaret Barta (Josh) of Wauwatosa, WI, and Anna Ray (Robert) of Winterville, GA; and great-grandchildren, Jordan, Jack, Talia, Lilly, Greta, Meredith, Evelyn, Emilia, Jude, Matthew, Layla, and Joseph. He cherished his family.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the caregivers who provided such compassionate care in his final years.
A memorial service at McMurrough Funeral Chapel, 101 Park Place, Libertyville, IL, with military honors, will take place at 1pm Saturday, December 2. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or the Alzheimer's Association.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bob Pennington, please visit Tribute Store