Penny Williams, born June 18, 1925, died January 8, 2019 age 93. Funeral Services will be held Sunday January 13, 2019 at 3:30pm at the Grace Lutheran Church ELCA located at1202 S. Pioneer. The family will receive friends from 2:30 -3:30pm at the church. Viewing will be held at the North’s Funeral Home, Thursday January 10, from 11-5pm and Friday January 11, 9am-5pm. Private Interment will be held at the Buffalo Gap Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Emma Margarette Williams, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Her father and mother were Ralph and Mary McKenzie. She was born in Franklin, Pennsylvania and grew up in the Depression. She was the fifth of five siblings, John, Elizabeth, Cletus, Helena and herself. Her father was an invalid at that time and the family took boarders into their home to make ends meet, Her mother also did laundry for others. She became a registered nurse at Lancanau Hospital in Philadelphia which was a Lutheran hospital at the time and her instructors were Lutheran nuns. She met her future husband, Toby, as his nurse when he had appendicitis during WWII. She asked the other nurses not to give him her name, which is Emma Margaretta McKenzie, but he found out she was from Pennsylvania and called her Penny, a nickname that stuck. They were married in Fort Worth at her sister’s home and she stayed in Texas the rest of her life. They had 3 children: George Toby, Susan Elaine and Cynthia Lynn. They moved to Abilene where she lived from1962 until her death.
She took off time from nursing to have a family but returned later on in the 1960s. She worked first at a small hospital, Cox Hospital, then worked as an intensive care nurse at Hendrick Hospital for many years and later worked on the new skilled nursing unit at Hendrick. Her husband died too young at 46 and she spent the rest of her life working as an RN until retirement and serving others in so many ways.
She was always in the background, smiling and working. She gave so much time to Grace Lutheran Church she should have been on the payroll. Whether it was vacation bible school, Altar guild, making quilts for missions overseas or in the kitchen for any function, Penny was there. She also drove for Meals on Wheels for years delivering food and loved it.
She was all about family. She loved her children and her grandchildren. She frequently kept six grandchildren in a small 2 bedroom apartment playing games and cooking, of course, all weekend. It is hard to find a picture of her alone; she was always with others and often with an apron on. She also stayed with family members prior to their deaths, nursing and serving them.
Her last years were spent in assisted living as long as possible and then long term nursing home care as her dementia progressed. She nursed her mother with the same illness many years before. She died peacefully. She will be missed, but not forgotten.
Penny is survived by 3 children, Toby Williams and wife Melany, Susie Scott and husband Steve and Cindy Carter and husband Ronnie. She has six grandchildren, Tami Sooter and husband Tom of Abilene, Jenny Humphrey and husband Corey of Abilene, Brian Williams of Arlington, Trisha Kane and husband Mike of Abilene, Molly Evans and husband Chad of Beaumont and Amy Willey and husband John of Abilene. She has nine great grandchildren. Services entrusted to North’s Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made out to Meals on Wheels, 717 North 10 Street, Abilene, Texas or to Grace Lutheran Church, 1202 S. Pioneer, Abilene, Texas.
Online Condolences may be made at www.northsfuneralhome.com.