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Ted Penn, MD

Obituary of Ted W Penn, MD

Thad Walter “Ted” Penn MD, 99, of Libertyville, IL died peacefully at home on July 11, 2019.  Ted was born March 2, 1920 in South Chicago.  He grew up in South Chicago.


Ted attended the University of Illinois at Urbana and then the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago, graduating in 1944.  Because he was still in medical school during World War II, he served as a medic in the Army Air Corps.  Following his internship at Cook County Hospital, he received orthopedic training at Hines VA Hospital.  After working as an orthopedic surgeon in Oakland and Hawaii, he returned to Illinois to set up a private practice in Lake County.  In 1958, he met his wife, Sheila, at St. Therese Hospital, where the nuns who worked with her in Physical Therapy warned her not to argue with Dr. Penn.  This admonition, he said, led her to a lifelong habit of a contrary approach.  They married in 1960.


Ted liked Scrabble, crossword puzzles, woodworking, dark beer, Bill’s pizza and Frango mints. He loved his work.  He did not like cold weather, cats or vegetables, and the appeal of Sudoku eluded him completely.  He was immune to the lure of athletic activity. As a south sider, he had little use for the Cubs. His wardrobe color palette ranged from beige to brown.  This was so whatever he pulled from his closet to wear for early morning rounds at the hospital would match.  That strategy sometimes worked. He judged the quality of his haircuts by the amount of hair the barber removed.  Less, he taught us, is not always more.  He had a dry wit, and he could really turn a phrase.  It was helpful to have cryptanalyst training if you ever wished to read a hand-written note from him.  He was relentlessly fair-minded.  He always rooted for the underdog, in life and in sports. He believed in economy of expression and economy of effort; that anything worth doing was worth doing well; and that just about any job was easier if you had the proper tool. (But you’d better remember to put it back where you found it.) He loved fishing on quiet lakes, particularly with his twin brother, ideally before the rest of humankind was awake.

He will be missed.


Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Verna (née Novakowski) and Walter, his twin Ed (Martha), younger brother Bob (Lorraine) older sister Irene (Joe) and wife Sheila (née Walsh).  He is survived by his children, Michael, Mark, Tim (Nicki), Daniel, Karenmary (Kevin), Ian and his grandchildren, Chelsea, Kip, Chloe, Caiden and Colton.  The family is most grateful for the attention and kindness Ted received from caregivers Ken, Maria, Carrie, Dee, LeeAnn and Keith.


A wake will be held at McMurrough Funeral Chapel in Libertyville on July 16th from 4:00-8:00pm.  The funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Libertyville, IL on July 17th at 10:00am.


In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Doctors Without Borders or Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Funeral information (847) 362-2626. Please sign the guestbook at

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4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
McMurrough Funeral Chapel
101 Park Place
Libertyville, Illinois, United States

Funeral Mass

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Saint Joseph Catholic Church
121 E. Maple Ave
Libertyville, Illinois, United States

Interment with Military Honors

11:15 am - 11:30 am
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Ascension Catholic Cemetery
1920 Buckley Rd.
Libertyville, Illinois, United States