Mary Lou Penny
1923 - 2022
Warren-McElwain Mortuary Lawrence Chapel
120 West 13th
Lawrence, KS

Mary Lou (Nelson) Penny

July 31, 1923

January 9, 2022

Mary Lou (Nelson) Penny, 98, died peacefully on Sunday, January 9, 2022. She was an elegant and much-loved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and Christian.

A life-long Kansan, Mary Lou was born on July 31, 1923, to Mary Estelle Nelson and Dr. William Oliver Nelson. She met Junius M. Penny while attending Pinckney Elementary School, and the couple eloped in 1943 as sophomores in college. Together, they raised five children, grew Penny's Ready Mixed Concrete as a business, served their church and community on various boards and planning committees, traveled across the world, made friends in several countries, and served God in all endeavors. As they grew older, they remained committed to each other and strong in their faith. Mary Lou tenderly cared for Jun in the home for several years until he lost his battle with Parkinson's disease in 2008. And she spent her final years mentoring her family in the sunroom of her house, sharing her faith, entertaining with her sharp wit, and loving those in her life.

A full copy of Mary Lou's obituary is available at: She was a dignified, strong, and caring woman and fiercely committed to her family. She was "Lou" to Jun, "Mother" to her children, "Nonny" to her grandchildren, "friend" to all others, and a faithful servant to Jesus. We will miss her beautiful garden, the hot-pink lipstick smudges on our cheek from her kisses, her timeless sense of style, her warm hugs, her faint scent of perfume and moisturizer, her sage advice, and her mashed potatoes that were more sour cream than potatoes (because "every recipe is improved by adding more sour cream or butter"). Neither Lawrence nor Green Mountain Falls, Colorado will be the same without her. Her five children, their spouses, scores of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and innumerable friends survive Mary Lou. Her beloved Jun, grandson Nathan, parents, and many others welcome her home.
Published by The Gazette on Jan. 12, 2022.
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Funeral services provided by:
Warren-McElwain Mortuary Lawrence Chapel
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6 Entries
Susan, Bill, your families, I have wondered these last years how your mom Was doing, especially when driving by the house. I always enjoyed the too few conversations with her. The love of Christ definitely shone through. Hugs and prayers.
Lori Ruth Lange
January 16, 2022
We are saddened to hear of your loss Susan. Your mother was a bright light in the neighborhood! I was always amazed at how positive she was and how active she stayed. I still remember her coming across the street with her walker on a cold winter day to deliver some of her delicious bread. She wanted us to feel welcome in the neighborhood and we did! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. With sympathy, Rhonda & Randy
Rhonda & Randy Schademann
January 13, 2022
I want to share a first name is Penny and over the years when I´ve seen your concrete mix trucks around & about I would always try to capture a picture since we shared the same name. I came on to the obits page looking for a neighbor who has recently deceased and perchanced upon your mothers´. I would love to see a picture of her after all these years of playing `same name´ with the trucks. I loved the pink lipstick kisses memory. I´m comforted knowing she´s spending eternity with Jesus, I´ll meet her someday! Blessings to each of you! [email protected]
January 13, 2022
We are so sorry for your loss. We had the pleasure of meeting your parents on their trip to Uganda many, many years ago. We have such fond memories of their visit and getting to know them. We pray for God's comfort at this time. Jim & Diane Clair Jinja, Uganda
Jim & Diane Clair
January 12, 2022
Your mother was an amazing woman and I´m grateful for the time I got to know her, while taking care of Juni. They´re together again smiling down at you. My heart goes out to all of you.
Jennifer Shambaugh
January 12, 2022
Bill and Marlene Paula and I want express our thoughts and prayers to you about about your Mom´s passing! We are sorry to hear that! Our best!!
Miles Schnaer
January 12, 2022
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