Martha Pennings

Martha Ann (VanEs) Pennings, age 88, of rural Blomkest, Minnesota, formerly of Orange City, died Saturday, December 12.

Her memorial service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, December 19, at Roseland Reformed Church with a short time for visitation beginning at 1:30. A private interment will be in the church cemetery.

Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar.

Martha Ann Pennings was born May 9, 1932, in Colony, Oklahoma, the daughter of Rev. Peter and Henrietta (Beyers) VanEs. Martha lived in Colony, OK, Mescalero, NM, and Macy, NE, while growing up. She later moved to Orange City, IA, to attend school and graduated from Northwestern Classical Academy in 1949 and from Northwestern Junior College in 1951. In school, Martha developed excellent writing skills which she used throughout her life. She was also active in cheerleading and drama in both high school and college.

While in Orange City, Martha met Lawrence Pennings and they were married on September 12, 1951 in Macy, NE. They lived in Orange City until 1953, when they moved to Fort Slocum, NY, where Lawrence was stationed while serving in the US Army. Following his discharge, they moved to rural Blomkest, MN, where they lived and farmed for the next 65 years. Martha most recently resided at Serenity Village in Avon, MN and Edgewood Senior Living in Sartell, MN.

While on the farm, Martha’s home resembled Grand Central Station. The coffee pot was always on. She was a gracious hostess that enjoyed taking time to visit, pour a cup of coffee, and share a laugh or two with the steady stream of family, friends, neighbors, hired workers, salespeople, horse lovers, delivery people, veterinarians, and milk testers that appeared. She spoke fondly of the group of girls she led at church. She taught Sunday School, wrote several children’s Christmas programs, and also researched and wrote a play script for the Roseland Reformed Church Centennial Celebration. She enjoyed doing needlework, both embroidery and crochet. Martha also enjoyed reading, gardening, her pets, and spending time with her family.

Martha is survived by her husband: Lawrence Pennings of Blomkest; her children: Teresa Enriquez of Minneapolis, Joslyn (and Willis) Kleinjan of Avon, Michael (and Susan) Pennings of Renville, Tamara (and Bryan) Goehring of Albany, Wendi (and Greg) Piller of Kenyon, and Lauretta (and Dan) Holtz of Willmar; 22 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her siblings: Mary Lou (and Gordon) Hondorp of Elk Grove, CA and Rowland (and Judy) VanEs of Green Valley, AZ; and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a daughter: Pamela in infancy.