Carter Funeral Home humbly announces the transition of Mr. James Wesley Penn, Sr., 85, of Union Springs, Alabama on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at his residence on Penn Road. Celebration of Life Services was held Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. from the sanctuary of the Cornerstone AME Zion Church of the Cornerstone Community, Rev. Bruce Surratt, pastor. The message of triumph was delivered by his daughter, the Rev. Gloria Penn Taylor, pastor of the Troy Chapel AME Zion Church of Montgomery, Alabama. Interment followed in Penn Cemetery. Mr. Penn lay in repose at the church one hour prior to Celebration of Life Services. Public visitation was held Friday, August 2, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Carter Funeral Home.
James Wesley Penn, Sr. affectionately known as “Wes, Chief, Old Man and Papa” was born on June 17, 1934 to the late James Henderson and Jeffana Penn. Years after the passing of his mother, his father married his late step-mother Eva Lou Penn, whom James was very fond of.
With his family at his side, he departed this life on Thursday, July 25, 2019 exchanging mortality for immortality as he entered into his eternal rest.
At a young age, James being the oldest son, had to set aside his educational pursuits to help his father to provide for his younger siblings; thus, thrusting James to become an entrepreneur at the age of 15. His business portfolio included farming, logging, professional moving and the business owner of Penn Trucking for over 30 years.
He was a skilled, hard worker who maintained several jobs simultaneously and did all of them in the spirit of excellence. James was a major employer of the unemployed in the Union Springs and Cornerstone communities. He stepped in to be a father figure to fill that void in many lives. He would provide love, mentoring and support without hesitation.
James loved his community and was well known by most. He was an avid Alabama fan and everyone knew it. He loved playing baseball in his teen and young adult life. At an early age, he confessed Christ and joined the Cornerstone A.M.E. Zion Church.
James solidified his relationship with the Lord before his demise. His parents, grandparents and one sister, Olinza Penn Wright preceded him in death. Mr. Penn left behind a rich legacy; as well as big shoes to fill. To have known him was to respect him.
To carry on his legacy and to cherish his memories is a devoted and loving wife of 61 years, Juanita Penn and his children: Arthur King, Union Springs, AL; Charles (Irene) Penn, Union Springs, AL; Mary (Cecil) Turpin, Hurtsboro, AL; James (Diana) Penn, Jr., Union Springs, AL; Dianne (Calvin) Pritchett, Union Springs, AL; Linda Penn Williams, Montgomery, AL; Melvin Penn, Union Springs, AL; Rev. Dr. Gloria Penn, Montgomery, AL; Michael Penn, Madison, AL; Melissa and Michelle Penn, Montgomery, AL; Gregory Penn, Atlanta, GA; and Jennifer (Willie) Tolliver, Union Springs, AL; Willie Frank (Kathy) Vann, Union Springs, AL; a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he loved dearly and raised one grandchild, as his own, Tahira Penn; five brothers: Napoleon Penn, Union Springs, AL; Rev. Martis (Mozella) Penn, Sr., Union Springs, AL; Lawrence (Jessie) Penn, Union Springs, AL; Joe (Brenda) Penn, Montgomery, AL; and William (Donna) Penn, Summerville, SC; three sisters Dorothy Penn, Prattville, AL; Ruth (Jake) McBride, Montgomery, AL and Mae Nella Jenkins, Union Springs, AL; three brothers-n-law: James (Catherine) McClain, Grand Rapids, MI; Tommy (Alma) Calhoun, Union Springs, AL; Robert (Susie) Calhoun; one sister-n-law, Linda (Clarence) Foster, Atlanta, GA; one aunt, Pearl Dorsey, Saginaw, MI; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends to include special friends: Jim Ellis and Joe Stewart, Union Springs AL and Cecil Vaughn, Montgomery, AL. We thank God for a life well lived.
The Staff of Carter Funeral Home is honored to support the Penn family with End of Life Services.