Tom Penning was born on September 26, 1950. He grew up and went to school in the Schoolcraft area. He was one of three sons of Claus and Laura Penning. In 1970 he was inducted into the United States Army, where he served at a communications station in Ethiopia. After the Army, Tom served a tour of duty in the Navy. During the next 40 years he lived near Vicksburg, Michigan. In 2012 he moved to Centerville, Michigan, where he died on November 6, 2016.
Many people knew him as “Too Tall Tom”, since his 6’3” height made him stand out in a crowd. Most people liked him because he was friendly by nature, and he could always find a topic to discuss with most anyone, since he loved to read and would devour piles of books and magazines.
Tom was never married and had no children. He preferred a quiet and simple life, and as long as he could have lively discussions with his friends on many varied topics and access to books, music, and news on TV and Radio, he was usually happy.
During the last two years, Tom became ill and his health declined. In spite of his illness, it seemed quite sudden when he passed away on the first weekend of November. He was preceded in death by his parents Claus Penning and Laura Penning. He is survived by his brothers Ray Penning and Dale Penning.
A military funeral will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.