Norma J. Penning, a long-time Hastings resident, passed away Sunday, April 24, 2022, at Sonoma House in Plano, TX.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 5, at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings with Pastor Joel Remmers officiating. Burial will be at Glenvil Cemetery in Glenvil. The family will receive visitors one hour before the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family to be designated at a later date.
Norma was born March 20, 1928, in Clay County, NE to Herbert A. & Anna E. (Harms) Fitzke. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. She graduated from Glenvil Schools in 1945. At age 17, she began her teaching career at a country school in Clay County. On June 26, 1949, she married Harvey L. Penning at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Glenvil.
Norma graduated in 1962 from Hastings College with a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education. She taught elementary students in Glenvil, Doniphan, and Hastings. She retired from teaching in 1988.
Norma spent many hours volunteering at the Hastings Museum, Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, and the YWCA. She taught Sunday school and was a member of WELCA, Middle Mixers, Delta Kappa Gamma, La Danza Dance Group, YWCA, and the Goodwill Extension Club. She also enjoyed the fun and fellowship of playing chimes with her fellow chimers. She loved music and gave private piano lessons to those who wished to enhance their musical ability. Norma and Harvey traveled to the Panama Canal and also visited many other countries in Europe. To celebrate 35 years of marriage, they spent six weeks touring South Africa. Norma and Harvey enjoyed spending 24 winters at the Monte Vista Village Resort in Mesa, AZ where she was a member of the Monte Vista Choir. She enjoyed family camping trips, traveling with her daughters, playing bridge, and making many craft items. She was a loving, devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and a dedicated educator.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harvey; a sister, Alene Valentine; a brother, Ward Fitzke; brothers-in-law, Herman Valentine, Ervin Penning, and Raymond Penning; and sisters-in-law, Sue Penning and Lucille Fitzke.
Those left to cherish her memory are two daughters, Janie Penning (Larry Bolles) of Grand Island and Connie (David) Eldred of Plano, TX. Grandchildren: Lee (Julie) Schuppan of Doniphan and Amber Schuppan (Al Avery) also of Doniphan; Alicia (Dr. Sean) McCarther of Ewing, NJ and Ashlee Moore of Plano, TX. One step-grandchild Chris (Nicole) Eldred of Omaha. Great-grandchildren: Braden and Caleb Schuppan; Dylan Hassett; Ian and Lily McCarther; and Jack Moore. Step-great-grandchildren: Keely and Allison Eldred, and Zach Schmitt.