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In Memory of . . . George JW Pennington (1925-2012)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Monday, January 30, 2012

The Rev. Dr. George J.W. Pennington died on January 10, 2012. He was 86 years old.  Rev. Dr. Pennington was born in Salem, MA, on November 20, 1925 to George F. and Vera G. Pennington. Rev. Pennington attained his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Sacred Theology, and Doctor of Divinity degrees from Tufts University and Tufts University Crane School of Theology.

He served at the Universalist Church in Wakefield, MA, after being ordained there in 1947. He was also called to serve First Parish Church of Assinippi, MA (Norwell), the First Unitarian Society of Arlington, MA (now First Parish Church in Arlington), White Memorial Universalist Church of Concord, NH, Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, MA, and Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ. He retired from parish ministry in 1982. Dr. Pennington continued on as a pastoral counselor with Unitarian Universalist Counseling and Educational Service of New Jersey Area Council. He was also a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in West Orange, NJ and White Plains, NY.

Rev. Pennington served on numerous boards and organizations over the years. From 1962 to 1969, while serving the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, he was an active leader in the Civil Rights and peace movements. More recently, following his return to the Western MA area, he volunteered at Baystate Medical Center cuddling babies and also spent his time serving on the Board of Directors of the Council on Aging in Longmeadow, MA.

Rev. Dr. Pennington is survived by Marjorie Pennington of East Longmeadow, MA; his son, Scot L. Pennington and his wife Joyce of Concord, NH; his son, Bruce A. Pennington of East Longmeadow, MA; his daughter, Joy Pennington of Brewster, MA; and his grandchildren, Samuel Pennington of Concord, NH; Audrey Greenwood of Concord, NH; and Jessica Gomes and her husband Brandon of South Yarmouth, MA; and great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Connor Greenwood and Gavin and Ryder Gomes. He also leaves his partner, Marjorie Morgan of Longmeadow, MA; and her grandchildren, Julien Gehrt and Sierra Hart of Northampton, MA.

Rev. Pennington was predeceased by his wife, the Rev. Shannon Bernard; and his brother, Donald Pennington.

A memorial service for Re. Dr. Pennington will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, 245 Porter Lake Drive, Springfield, MA on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.

Donations in Rev. Pennington’s memory may be made to Community Unitarian Church, 468 Rosedale Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605; Unitarian Universalist Society, 245 Porter Lake Drive, Springfield, MA 01106; or Baystate VNA and Hospice, Box 9058, Springfield, MA 01102.

Rev. Pennington wrote, "I would not want to live out my life defending bridges, fighting assailants, real or imagined, or climbing every mountain. Yet, I do wish to experience myself clearly in my thinking, unmistakably in my feelings, committed to an identifiable process of worth beyond myself that nurtures and dignifies myself.”

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