Reverend Eugene F. Pennekamp - Pastor, Gene, Dad, Brother, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa, friend was called home to heaven by our loving God on July 9, 2013.

Reverend Eugene F. Pennekamp - Pastor, Gene, Dad, Brother, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa, friend was called home to heaven by our loving God on July 9, 2013.
Funeral service will be held 11:00 AM Friday July 12, 2013 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Atchison, KS, with Reverend Robert Ziegler and Reverend Fred Hagemeier officiating.  Family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:00 PM Thursday July 11, 2013 at Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home, Atchison KS.  Burial will be held 12:00 PM Saturday July 13, 2013, at Garden of Memories Cemetery, Pittsburg, KS with Reverend Mark Wenzelburger officiating.  Memorial contributions are suggested to Lutheran Hour Ministries, Concordia Seminary St. Louis, or Kansans for Life and may be sent in care of the funeral home.  Words of comfort to the family may be left at

Eugene was born on September 29, 1924, in Wathena, Kansas, to the Rev. Helmut T. and Margaret Pennekamp.  He also lived in Norton, Kansas and Lockwood, Missouri, moving to Leavenworth, Kansas with his family in 1935, following the death of his father.
In 1944, he graduated from St. Paul’s Academy and College, Concordia, Missouri, where he completed his pre-ministerial training, and in 1949 graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri with a Master in Divinity.  He accepted a call to serve as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Rockville, Missouri, where he was ordained on July 10, 1949.
In 1948-49, while completing his vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, La Porte, Indiana, he met Ellen Krentz, daughter of Erich (a teacher at St. John) & Callie Krentz. They were married on June 18, 1949. In the years that followed, God blessed them with 6 children – Paul, John, Deborah, Lois, Rebecca, and Sarah.

Pastor Pennekamp faithfully served his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ in congregations in Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas: 1949-1953 – Zion Lutheran Church, Rockville, Missouri; 1953-1957 – St. Peter Lutheran Church, St. Joseph, Missouri; 1957-1963 – Zion Lutheran Church, Poplar Bluff, Missouri & St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Corning, Arkansas; 1963-1977 – Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Rogers, Arkansas; 1964-1970 – Siloam Lutheran Church, Siloam Springs, Arkansas (assisted in organizing and served as pastor); 1972 – He began holding services in Eureka Springs/ Holiday Island, Arkansas, and Grace Lutheran Church was formed in 1974; 1977-1978 – Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsburg, Kansas; 1979-1993 – Messiah Lutheran Church, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Gene believed that Christian education should continue throughout the life of a Christian and worked with Saints Alive After 55 in developing and leading an annual retreat for adults to grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus and their service to Him.
Gene served as the Chaplain of Medicalodge and New Horizons in Pittsburg, KS for 14 years, providing weekly worship services for their residents and ministering to the needs of them and their families.

He loved to be involved in the communities where he lived.  He was a very active member of the Rotary Club in Pittsburg, served as a precinct committeeman for the Republican Party, was a member of Colorama Camera Club, and the pro-life group in Pittsburg.  After moving to Atchison in 2008 he enjoyed being a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and Shepherd’s Center in Atchison.

Gene was a man of many talents and had a wonderful eye for the beauty of God’s world.  He loved photography and especially enjoyed capturing images of flowers, butterflies, birds, and skies, as well as special people in his life.  He created beautiful stained glass items and crafted many things from wood,taking great pride in bringing out the wood’s natural beauty.  He had a gift for words and wrote many hymns of praise and thanksgiving for his Savior.  He was instrumental in instilling a love of music in the lives of his children and grandchildren.  He penned many poems, including many St. Nicholas Day poems for his grandchildren and others young at heart.  He enjoyed gardening and the bountiful produce supplemented his pastoral salary to feed his large family.

Pastor Pennekamp is survived by his wife Ellen, children Paul (Linda) Pennekamp, Owasso, OK, Deborah (John) Matthew, Wichita, KS, Lois (Mike) Farrell, Atchison, KS, Rebecca (Dean) Aurich, Waverly, MN, and Sarah (Mike) Accorsi, Mansfield Center, CT, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, sisters Pauline (Carl) Roth and Caroline Bridges.  He was preceded in death by his son, John, brothers, Herbert and Theodore, and sisters, Margaret and Eleanore.