Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Michael Penning

May 1, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI




In loving memory of our father, Michael John Penning, of Portage, MI, who passed away suddenly on May 1, 2024 at the age of 65, surrounded by loving family members. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Mike was born on October 9, 1958 to John and Theda (Bowersox) Penning in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The family soon moved to Vicksburg, Michigan, where Mike graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1977 He went on to get his Journeyman Tool and Die Maker.

One of the kindest souls on this planet, our dad worked tirelessly to ensure that his family had everything we needed. – and many things we wanted. He faced every challenge in life with admirable strength and courage. He was always there for us, willing to drop his plans to help us out. He was a man of peace, of strong conviction, and he taught us the importance of family, hard work and doing what is right. Our dad was a true role model who we will always look up to.

Our dad loved life and lived each day to the fullest, without any regrets. He spent time on what mattered most to him – especially things that involved his family. He was a cigar aficionado, an avid fisherman, loved travelling to Thailand, and was a YouTube researcher extraordinaire. He enjoyed spending time working on his 1982 CJ7 Jeep, cast iron camping for the weekend, brewing his own beer, and vacationing around Fort Myers, Florida. He loved nature, watching his bees, and found joy as he cared for his fruit trees, grape vines, jade, and jasmine. Our dad loved cooking, prepping for the next apocalypse, and metal detecting for ancient treasures (which usually was about 68 cents on a good day!). Our dad was an engineer at heart – he saw purpose in what others didn't and possibility where others saw junk. And if he really liked you, you'd know because he'd never call you by your name…instead he'd call you "Spanky," "Crapslacks," or "Boo boo."

A couple of years ago, Josh moved in with dad and was able to spend some special moments with him, developing a closer relationship as dad imparted his wisdom and his experience, modeling his patience and peace, and providing a "sanctuary" of his presence.

Mike was predeceased by his mother and father, his sister Bonnie Allen, an infant brother, and many other family members. He is survived by his children, Rebecca Penning, David (Elisha) Penning, and Joshua Penning; his sister, Diane Haynes; eight grandchildren: Nathaniel Penning, Kearah Williams, Caleb Penning, Izaiah Nichols, Ivy Nichols, Asher Penning, Elijah Penning, and Phoebe Penning; and many other family members.

Now that our dad has passed into the arms of Jesus, we should remind ourselves that while this is the end of his physical life on Earth, it's the beginning of an eternal and beautiful journey for him – probably exploring whatever other dimensions might exist, unraveling the secrets of the universe, and spending time with the Squatches.

A Celebration of Life gathering is planned for July 13, 2024, from 1-4pm, at Lakeview Park (9345 Portage Rd - pavilion 2) in Portage. In lieu of flowers, our dad would rather you buy yourself a "New World: Cameroon Selection" cigar (his favorite brand) and "smoke a fatty" for him.

Pops, you are now at peace but you will live on forever in our hearts. We'll miss your funny nuances and gestures, your silly dances and looks. You're gone too soon but we're thankful for the times we had. May all who knew you find strength and peace in the memories of the love they shared. We love you so much. Rest in peace.

It's a beautiful day…