David Erick Pennington 1920 - 2016 David Pennington, age 96, passed away peacefully during the early morning hours of October 9, 2016, at his home of 41 years in Meridian, Idaho. His daughter and son-in-law were at his side. David's parents, Charles Pennington and Josephine (Strom) Pennington, met in Cody, Wyoming, where they were employed by Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Charles broke, tended and helped train the horses used by the trick riders in the show. Josephine was one of the cooks that worked hard to keep everyone fed. After they married, they settled in Minnesota and began their lives and family together. From there, they moved to North Dakota, where they lived around extended family on the prairies of sod huts. David was the ninth child born into the family, and the first child to be born in Idaho after their move west. He was born on February 18, 1920, very shortly after his mom and siblings arrived by train in Burley, Idaho. This large and still growing family eventually settled in the Meridian/Nampa area, which David has called home all of his life. He grew up working hard alongside his parents and siblings and has recounted to us many times how daily, they all rose early before sunrise to milk cows by hand, and tend to chores before having to "take off in a hurry on foot or horseback to get to school on time". "Mostly we rode the horses in the winter when the snow was deep and hard to walk in". He attended elementary school and high school in Meridian. From an excerpt of his peers, 1937-1938 class reunion: "The past 50 years has been such a fantastic age to have been brought up in a community like Meridian – from horse and buggy to the Space Age. What a privilege to relive all this with our school friends and to talk of our families and especially our Grandchildren. We've stored a lot of memories." He and his family survived the very lean years after the economic crash of 1929, doing whatever work they could find to help keep food on the table and life going. He often recalled what a good cook his mom was and how "she could make whatever we had taste good, and baked bread every single day"! David was in his early 20's when WWII erupted and dutifully accepted his call to serve. He was stationed in Portland, Oregon for the first half of the war where he met Eva C. Vogele. David and Eva corresponded weekly after he was assigned overseas to fight in France and Italy. He served in rank as sergeant in the U.S. Army; GROUND AIRCRAFT OBSERVER: "Served overseas 19 months and 11 days in the European Theater of Operations as an aircraft observer in the signal corps; set up and operated an observation post in a forward area of combat in order to provide information concerning approach of friendly or enemy aircraft; transmitted and reported such weather elements as type and height of clouds, wind direction, velocity, ceiling and visibility; reported aircraft sighted by radio or telephone." After WWII was announced over, he returned to Portland to his pen-pal sweetheart, where David and Eva were married on November 2, 1945. After their marriage, they promptly moved back to David's beloved home town, Meridian. David worked independently for years hauling milk for many farmers around the Nampa area and delivering to local creameries. He eventually had to stop doing the very heavy work of manually slinging heavy milk cans onto and off of his truck due to back troubles/injury. It was during these years that David and Eva's only child, Barbara, was brought into their lives on November 9, 1956. In the early 1960's, David worked for G&B Ready Mix for a short time, and simultaneously had a furnace installation and repair business. In the late 1960's, he went to work for Beatrice Foods/Meadow Gold Dairies, retiring from there in 1983. He soon found out that it was impossible for him not to work, so he went to work for Ada County Pest Abatement, where he was employed seasonally until he was into his mid 80's! We used to tease him about being the true Ever Ready Bunny. David, Eva, and Barbara moved out onto a five acre parcel south west of Meridian in 1975, that he has called home for 41 years. He has loved living on his acreage from the start. He's loved the room to roam and tinker and repair endlessly and daily, up until a couple of years ago when his advanced age began to slow him down. We have been fortunate to spend every day of the last 13 months of his life with him to enable him to remain in the quietness of his beloved home on the property. David is the last of Charles and Josephine's 13 children to join them 'over there'. David is preceded in death by his parents, and by his wife Eva, who passed 7 years ago in November. By his brothers: Arley, Austin, Eugene, Lynn and Ted. By his sisters: Marguarite, Gracie, Irma, Gladys, Thelma, Evelyn, and an infant, Ethelyn; surviving only days. David is survived by his daughter Barbara Huntington and Pat. By his grandchildren: Jake, Shaina, Patrice, Hailey and Stefanie. By his great-grandchildren: Mckenah, Khloe, Jayden, Max, Lillian and Natalie. On behalf of Dad, we would like to thank the Veterans Administration for helping us with the necessities of being able to keep Dad at home until he passed, as was his wish. Also, a huge THANK YOU to Horizon Home Health and Hospice, and for their amazing staff that was assigned to be here to help us during such a difficult time. To you all, from David: -Blessed are those who understand my faltering step and weakened hand -Blessed are those who know that my ears today must strain to catch the things they say -Blessed are those with a friendly smile who just stop by to visit awhile -Blessed are those who never say "You have already told that story twice today" -Blessed are those who through love and care ease the days of my journey home in so many ways Happy trails, Dad. We love you! Interment is to be private.
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