Obituary of Eric Penn
Eric Penn, 74, of St. James entered his heavenly home on, May 9, 2022.
Funeral service and burial will be Monday, May 16th at 1:00 pm at Albion Lutheran Church, rural St. James. Visitation will be Sunday, May 15th from 4:00-6:00 pm at Sturm Funeral Home in St. James and one hour prior to the service on Monday, May 16th at Albion Lutheran Church.
Eric Penn was born October 31, 1947 to Frank and Margaret (McNabb) Penn in Waterloo, Iowa. He grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, attending the I.S.T.C Laboratory School (later called Price Laboratory School) and graduated from that Laboratory School (then under the name of State College High School) in 1966. While in high school Eric participated in swimming, diving, and drama. He loved the water and he especially enjoyed the behind the scenes prop and set work involved in the theater. Eric attended Mankato State University (MSU) and earned his teaching degree in math in 1970. Eric met Laurel Wigand during his time at MSU and married her on June 14, 1970 in Henderson, Minnesota. Eric taught math and coached high school sports for a few years after college before exploring a career at a John Deere dealership in Iowa. The color green stuck and in 1979 Eric took another John Deere job as the Parts Manager at Cunningham Implement in St. James, Minnesota, where he remained until his retirement. Eric and Laurel raised their three children in St. James.
Eric was a hard worker, and a loyal employee, friend and neighbor and he was a very proud father and grandfather. Nothing made him happier than to follow the activities of his children and later his five grandchildren. Eric loved to learn and he enjoyed figuring out how things worked. He had a creative side and made many signs and picture frames out of wood. He also made and flew many remote control airplanes for a number of years. Eric also created over 100 stained glass windows in a wide variety of designs and sizes. He especially loved to make ones of birds and fish and any other animals his family requested, but later in life he wasn’t very fond of the ones with super small pieces. The windows he made trigger special memories for his family. Each of Eric’s five grandchildren have at least one piece of glass that he created specifically for them.
Eric is survived by his children: Chad Penn of St. James, Carlie (Brian) Olson of Hanska, and Cory (Hannah) Penn of Rochester, 5 grandchildren (Tanner, Cooper and Sawyer Olson; Kayla and Khloe Penn), brother LeRoy Penn of Spanaway, Washington, sister-in-law Lois (Lance) Twedt of Inver Grove Heights, sister-in-law LaDonna (Tom) Bender of Henderson, and brother-in-law Larry (Stephanie) Wigand of Henderson; and so many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Laurel (Wigand) Penn, father and mother, Frank and Margaret Penn, father in-law and mother-in-law, Sylvester and Doris Wigand, and sister-in-law Tamie Penn.
Eric and Laurel enjoyed traveling and attending theater and musical performances. They also loved watching sports and seeing their kids and grandkids at their activities was very important to them. Their family takes peace in knowing that Eric and Laurel are reunited and that both of them have their eyes on everything their grandkids are doing. They are their grandkids’ biggest fans.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eric Penn, please visit Tribute Store