The Joplin Globe
JOPLIN, Mo. —
John Chester Pennel, 91, of Joplin, Mo. passed away June 9, 2013, in Joplin at Freeman East Hospital.
Chester was born Jan. 3, 1922, in Verona, Mo., to the late Frank and Lillie (Todd) Pennel. He was a resident of Barry County in his early years, moving to Joplin in 1952.
Chester was united in marriage to Dolores Etalee Stubblefield March 4, 1944, at the home of Rev. Fred McPhail in Aurora, Mo. She survives.
Chester was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving from 1944 to 1946, serving in the European Theater of Operations. In August of 1945, his ship was headed for Japan and en route, the war ended and he returned to the states to finish his duty.
After serving his country, Chester returned to Monett, Mo., where he owned/drove the school buses for Monett Schools. He operated a D-X service station at 7th and Joplin and then in 1959, built another at 7th and Moffet, where he remained until 1968. He became a truck driver for Fred's Frozen Foods in Carthage, Mo., where he was employed 17 years until retiring. After a year of traveling with Dolores, he became employed at Parker Mortuary as a greeter and driver for 12 years. He later worked for Chappel Crematory for several years.
Chester enjoyed serving people whether at his job, his church or his neighborhood. He trusted God as his Lord and Savior at Connor Avenue Baptist Church and became an ordained deacon and also taught Sunday School. At the time of his death he was a member of Joplin Heights Baptist Church where he had taught Sunday School and also served as a deacon. He never met a stranger and was always inviting people to come to church. He enjoyed gardening and sharing his bounty with others. He and Dolores enjoyed playing dominoes, card games and Rummikub with friends and family. He was always willing to provide assistance for anyone in need.
A great supporter of Joplin area softball, he served on the Board of Directors for the Joplin Softball Association. He was a well-known pitcher, participating in both fast-pitch and slow-pitch ball. Through his service stations he sponsored many girls teams over the years.
Chester is survived by one son, Dr. Roger Pennel and spouse, Johnnie, of Warrensburg, Mo.; one daughter, Donna K. Mitchell, of Joplin; six grandchildren, Chad Pennel and spouse, Kim, of Frisco, Texas, Cara Pennel, of Bryan, Texas, Jennifer Harryman and husband, Ryan, of Carl Junction, Mo., Joshua Pennel and spouse, Liz, of Buffalo, N.Y., Adam Pennel and fiancée, Laylan Hecker, of Warrensburg, Austin Mitchell and spouse, Kira, of Joplin; six great-grandchildren, Jake, Hunter and Taylor Pennel, Ian and Arian Harryman and Tyra Mitchell. Chester is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews and families of whom he was proud, each and every one of them. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Carl, Courtmon and Wayne Pennel; and his daughter-in-law, Deneise Crosswhite Pennel.
Funeral services will be held at Parker Mortuary in Joplin on Saturday, June 15, at 9:30 a.m. The Rev. Ed Brown will officiate. Interment will follow at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery with Chad, Josh, Adam, Jake and Hunter Pennel, Ryan and Ian Harryman and Austin Mitchell serving as pallbearers. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the mortuary.