Birth Date: 02/11/1942
Deceased Date: 07/30/2021
This obituary will probably not seem traditional to a lot of you, but my dad was not a traditional type of man. I will include all the pertinent information that everyone looks for in these things, but I will also include some things that will make sense to those people who knew him (and me). Richard R. Penny passed away on July 30, 2021, at his home.
Ray (or “Bugs”) was born in Dunn on February 11th, 1942, to Roscoe (Yes, I say P. Coltrain too) and Dolah Penny of Dunn. He graduated from Dunn High School with no tardies and perfect attendance for all twelve years (as I was reminded any day that I did not feel like going). He joined the U.S. Air Force after graduation. While he was stationed in Germany, he met my mother Hanne, where they were married in double wedding in Denmark. My mother is Danish, and my dad is “Dunnish”. Neither one of them spoke the other ones language, which is probably why I arrived shortly thereafter.
On one my parents earlier anniversaries (remember the language barrier) my dad informed my mother that he was taking her to the “Golden Arches Restaurant”, she got dressed up and she didn’t appreciate the joke. He was the shop chief that always invited all the Airman and ones away from their families to our house for every holiday. Ray was tough but fair and remained in contact with several of them decades after they served together. After being stationed at a lot of amazing places, and Delaware, he retired and moved back to Dunn with his family.
Ray worked briefly at Godwin Building Supply then went to work at Kelly Springfield Tire Company (I am sure that a lot of people recognize him as the light blue Mustang Mach II he passed everybody in). According to the “official way to write an obituary” I am supposed to include hobbies now. My dad liked to aggravate people (any waitress that ever served him can attest that if you can take it, he will love you and tip you for it). He enjoyed good people (he would gladly fire up one of his 6 BBQ grills any time you wanted to stop by), he loved his time with family and friends. He wasn’t a saint (as so many seem to become posthumously) but he was the type that would bring donuts when he got his oiled changed, help fix your car in the middle of the night and was 100% honest (he claimed $62 that people gave him for vegetables on taxes).
Ray was preceded in death by his daughter Dorothy “Dotti”, parents Roscoe and Dolah, siblings Olin Penny, Anna Lee Culbreth, and Fleta Gold Wood. He will be dearly missed by his wife Hanne, Daughter and son in law Cindy and David Parker, his grandkids Morgan and Cullin, my furry siblings Curly and Moe and their best bud Striker (who will miss his head rubs and daily treats) and cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
My dad will leave a legacy of unique phrases (drive careless), friendship, laughs and the fact that he was always himself. He didn’t put on airs, he wouldn’t pretend to like you if he didn’t, he wouldn’t lie to you to make you feel better, he was genuine.
We are having a get together (visitation) at Skinner and Smith Funeral Home on August 4, 2021, from 2 – 4 pm to share stories about him.
Sadness is ok (but honestly, we have enough), we would prefer you bring happy stories to share with us and we will greatly appreciate anyone that can make us laugh. Remember he was career military, so don’t show up late.