Helen Penney

Obituary of Helen C. Penney

Helen Louise (Clinebell) Penney was born on August 30, 1921, in Glasford, IL, to George and Mary Baker Clinebell (deceased). She attended grade school and high school in Danvers, IL and graduated as the Valedictorian in 1938. Helen went on later to graduate from the University of Illinois. While in college and upon graduation, she worked for R.J. LeTourneau's (Komatsu) to help support the World War II effort. In February of 1945 Helen joined the Army-56th WAC Hospital, at age 24. She was trained in MDETX, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA and served at Percy Jones General Hospital, Battle Creek, MI, as a Medical Technician, 5th grade. Helen served as a Clerk Typist in WAC Hospital Co. at Ft. Custer, MI. She was discharged on Feb. 4, 1946, Rank: Corporal. She received the Victory Medal and Meritorious Unit Award. On January 14th, 1946, Helen married George LeRoy(Lee) Penney (deceased). They initially lived in Peoria, IL, as Lee finished college at Bradley University. Then in the late 1940's, they moved to Bloomington / Normal to work for IBM. They continued to live in Normal for about 15 years. It was during this time their daughter Susan A Penney was born, June 1950. Unfortunately, Susan passed away in early August 1950, from a heart defect. In the mid 1950's, Helen became extensively involved in the Girl Scouts, initially in Illinois and later in New York. It started at the local level and expanded to the state and later the national level. Helen attended national conventions originally held in Savannah, GA. It was a relationship that lasted nearly 40 years through leadership and training, and life long continuous financial support. In 1964, Helen and Lee moved, with IBM, to Apalachin NY, and became very active in the City of Owego and Tioga County community. They joined the Owego Methodist Church in the mid-1960's and remained there the rest of their lives. Helen and Lee both enjoyed music and singing. They became extensively involved in the church choir which led to involvement in the Tioga County Community Choir. This activity lasted nearly 50 years and was a source of great joy and life long relationships for Helen and Lee. In the mid-70"s Helen and Lee opened a photography and sundries business located in downtown Owego called the HUB. They operated the HUB for 25+years. Helen spent many years working and supporting local, state and national Republican policies and candidates. She would walk in neighborhoods securing necessary signatures in order to get candidates on election ballots. She walked and talked to neighbors until she was nearly 90 years old to promote candidates. In 2011, Helen and Lee were awarded the Tioga County Citizens of the Year award for all the unselfish community service. She passed away on April 20, 2021, just months short of her 90th birthday. Helen is survived by two nephews, David (Cheryl) Aten, Dallas, Ga and Herbert (Judee) Aten, Columbus, OH, and several grand-nieces and nephews. In addition, Helen has many Baker and Clinebell relatives / cousins living in IL. The family would like to thank Owego United Methodist Church and especially the church and local choir members that treated Helen and Lee like their own family, always including them for holiday events and dinners. Helen was predeceased by her husband Lee Penney, her parents George and Mary (Baker) Clinebell, and her sister Georgia (Clinebell) Aten. Condolences may be made to Helen's family at www.emfaheyfuneralhome.com
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Final Resting Place

Woodlawn National Cemetery
1825 Davis Street
Elmira, New York, United States
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