MADISONVILLE, KY - Garnet Everly (Penny) Pennington, 88, served out a winning match on Friday, April 26, 2013 at Baptist Health in Madisonville, Kentucky.
Penny was born on November 2, 1924 in Russellville Kentucky to Cecil Everly and Georgiana Cullen Everly. A 1946 graduate of the Nazareth School of Nursing at St. Joseph's in Lexington, Kentucky and from Murray State University in 1979, Penny was a dedicated nurse who held herself and her peers to the highest of standards in her work at the TB Hospital, the Hopkins County Hospital, and the Regional Medical Center; she continued to keep her professional nurse's license current and active. A fiercely knowledgeable instructor, she taught hundreds of nursing students at the Health Occupations School in Madisonville, Kentucky, and her efforts there have touched the lives of many through the hands of those she trained.
Throughout her life Penny gave generously of her time and talent, as a mother to her four children, Valerie, George, Cherie and Tom, and as a friend to every person she met, no matter the time or circumstance. Her loyalty was deep and true, both to people and to the organizations she loved, which included the First United Methodist Church in Madisonville, where she was a longtime teacher in the Opal Audas Sunday School Class. She was a regular volunteer and former Board member for the American Red Cross, a member of the Friends of Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library where she was a weekly volunteer, as well as a regular volunteer at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts.
One of Penny's greatest passions, the pursuit that in many ways defined her life, was the game of tennis. Never happier than when she was on the court engaged in a game, or even better, when she was sharing her love of the sport with someone new, the rhythm of that bouncing ball became the rhythm of her days. She was a founding member of the Madisonville Tennis Association and was instrumental in revitalizing the tennis program at Madisonville-North Hopkins High School. She worked tirelessly with Frankfort officials to obtain the tennis courts at Madisonville Community College for any and all to use, and they are dedicated to her. In 1988 Penny was selected by World Tennis Magazine as a finalist for the World's Greatest Tennis Nut—and in truth, there never was a greater tennis nut.
Penny is survived by her children George (Janie), Cherie Love (Jon), and Tom (Portia), her nine grandchildren, Emilie Embry Young (John), Jason Embry, Erin and Evan Pennington, Hannah Thomas (Josh), Hallie, Mary Cullen, Beck and Cassie Pennington, her three great-grandchildren, Jacob, Parker and Valerie Kate Young, her sister Ruth Nuckols and her brother Wayne Everly. She was preceded in death by her dear daughter, Valerie Pennington Embry, her sister Celeste Valbert, and her brother George "Bill" Everly.
A celebration of Penny's life will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Madisonville at 11:00 am Wednesday, May 1, with visitation at the church from 9:00-11:00 prior to the service. A short memorial will be held at the Madisonville Community College Tennis Courts immediately following the celebration.
Memorial contributions may be made in Penny's memory to the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library, 455 Madison Square Drive, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431.
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