Obituary Details

John R. Penfield

(09/12/1933 - 01/26/2008)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 02/06/2008

John R. Penfield

Memorial services will be held at a later date for John R. Penfield, 74, who died Jan. 26, 2008, at the Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, NE. John was born Sept. 12, 1933.

Colyer Funeral Home was in charge of the cremation arrangements. A complete obituary will appear at a later date.

The Lusk Herald
February 13. 2008
John R. Penfield

Memorial services for John R. Penfield, 74, will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2008 at the Colyer Funeral Home Chapel. A reception will be held at Bell Park Tower Community Room immediately following the services. John died on Jan. 26, 2008 at the Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Neb. Cremation has taken place and John's ashes will be scattered at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be appreciated to the donor's choice of either, the "John R. Penfield Memorial" c/o Pinnacle Bank at 2000 Main St., Torrington, WY 82240 for establishing matching funds for the placement of sculpture on Torrington's Main Street; or to the "John R. Penfield Cancer Survivors Fund" c/o Carrol Diffendaffer, Cancer Treatment Center, 3911 Avenue B, Scottsbluff, NE 69361. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Colyer Funeral Home and friends are invited to send condolences to

John was born on Sept. 12, 1933 in Broadwater, Nebraska the son of Luther A. and Reba (Sparks) Penfield. As a young child, John traveled with his parents to Niobrara County where his family homesteaded north of Lance Creek. He attended elementary schools in the Lance Creek area and finished his high school education in Lusk, graduating in the Spring of 1951. John then joined the United States Marine Corps and served his country for four years in California and Hawaii. Following his military discharge, John returned to the Rocky Mountains and attended a Business College in Billings, Mont., quickly landing a job in the accounting office of Ohio Oil Company in Casper.

In 1960, John started work at the Elsinor Navel and Military Academy in Lake Elsinor, Calif. He inspired his young recruits to be model citizens and instilled in them dignity and loyalty; which has remained with them even to this day. Each week, John would receive phone calls from the many former recruits and staff members who he served with; recalling the memories and challenges they faced. Following a change in ownership at the academy, John left California and returned to Wyoming; finding a management position at Crazy Charlie's Truck Stop in Lusk where he stayed until 1993. He then became the store manager at "Mel's Country Card and Party" in Torrington and remained in that position until his untimely death from pancreatic cancer. John was diagnosed with cancer in 1990 and working with Carol Diffendaffer, he was a founding member of the Prostate Cancer Support Group, in Scottsbluff; soon becoming a Man-to-Man Volunteer; helping others to face their cancer conflicts. Strength and courage was John - right to the end.

John was a member of the Goshen County Master Gardeners Club in Torrington. He also became involved with the Volunteers of America when his mother moved into Bell Park Tower in Torrington, and was soon asked to be a board member of Bell Park Tower; a position he accepted and held for the past several years.

John is survived by his life partner of 30 years, Mel Kjormoe of Torrington, Wyoming; his mother Reba Penfield of Torrington; one brother, Luther Penfield and his wife Joella of Lusk; two sisters, Geneva Burke of Lusk, and Twila Berry of Las Vegas, Nevada; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father; two brothers, Norman Penfield and Orval Penfield; and one sister, Burnice Bolinger.

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