Darrel Penner

Darrel Penner

1958 - 2024

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Obituary of Darrel Penner

Darrel Penner passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

He is survived by Cari, his loving wife of 41 years, his sons Cameron and Ryley, Jill (née Friesen) and grandsons Asher Odin and Dawson Keith. Also surviving are his brother Randy (Adele), sister-in-law Ingrid, and many nieces and nephews.

Darrel was predeceased by his parents Abe G. and Thelma Penner, sister Cheryl Lynette Ferguson and her husband Jerome, and brother Reginald John. 

Darrel was born on June 8, 1958, in Steinbach to Abe G. and Thelma Penner. He was the youngest of three brothers who were full of energy and mischief, and as if that wasn’t enough, he even tried to get his baby sister to join in the boy’s rambunctious activities, to no avail. We loved hearing about their escapades with snowmobiles, swimming at the pits, pets, hunting, skiing, golfing, and many other pursuits. It got to the point where one Halloween the local police tasked them to help patrol for the evening – in an attempt to keep them out of trouble. 

Darrel could hardly wait to start work, and at a young age piled lumber in the family business. He went on to assume any and all tasks at Penner Farm Service as he grew older. He liked to say he knew the company from nuts and bolts to the big picture.

Darrel was a natural sportsman who excelled at any sport he tried, from track and field to football to hockey. He loved to compete, and it showed. Stories of his prowess were legendary.

In 1979 he met Cari, and it wasn’t long before Darrel was dressed in the latest Calvin Klein styles and ready for their first date in his black Granada. Although he was shy, Darrel expressed his love in practical ways, and this was evident throughout his life. After their marriage in 1982, he proved himself a loyal, faithful husband and even though he didn’t communicate it often in words, his deeds outshone what words could express. Their first-born Cameron arrived in 1986, and the family grew in 1988 with the birth of Ryley.

Early family years were spent vacationing in Bemidji, Minnesota with the Penner clan and many days were spent skiing, swimming and enjoying the great outdoors with the family. The love of cottage life eventually led to Darrel and Cari purchasing a cottage at Falcon Lake, where they spent many happy years entertaining family, friends and the occasional bear. Later, his continued love of sand and sun led them to migrate every winter to Hawaii and Palm Desert. Together they experienced exotic locales around the world.

Darrel’s early hockey career prevented him from graduating, but as soon as he completed adult education, he moved on to Red River College for his business administration degree. His grades now matched his earlier athletic ability. He so aced his studies that upon graduation he received the “keener of the year” award. 

His first employment after graduation was with the Steinbach Credit Union loans department, where because of his dedication and commitment he rapidly rose through the ranks. 

When opportunity to join the family business arose, Darrel was ready and eager to move on to the next chapter of his life. His experience in banking gave him a solid foundation in business finance. His strongest qualities were fairness and a passion for honesty. This extended to his dealings with customers and employees alike. It remained a foundation for how he lived. Cari would often mention how she heard the gears turning in his head while he sat silently in his chair at home – until suddenly he would say, “I think I’ve figured it out.”

Darrel was well-respected in the business community and was known for his generosity and frankness. When he decided to speak, people listened.

A strong believer in community, whenever anyone needed to raise money, either for the golf course, or Bethesda Foundation, or the recent recreation complex, Darrel was ready to share his expertise in fund-raising and connections among community supporters. In particular, the Bethesda Foundation was his favourite passion, and he believed strongly in supporting and supplementing the work of health care in the Steinbach area.

Upon his retirement, Darrel enjoyed golfing, biking and enjoying time at the cottage with family and friends. In his later years, his health began to decline and his energy to fail. A few days before he was hospitalized, it was fitting that he enjoyed a full day sitting on the 18thgreen in his golf cart, greeting people and seeking further donations to the Bethesda Foundation. He had a great time.

Darrel was a very private man, and his spiritual journey was also private. He quietly lived his faith and strove to reflect Christian virtues in his actions. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bethesda Foundation, at bethesdafoundation.ca

The celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., at Grace Mennonite Church, Steinbach, MB. To join the family via live stream, please click HERE

The interment will take place at Heritage Cemetery, Steinbach, MB.


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Celebration of Life Service

11:00 am
Saturday, June 29, 2024
Grace Mennonite Church
430 Third Street
STEINBACH, Manitoba, Canada


Heritage Cemetery
395 Loewen Blvd
Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada