Gerry Pennington sported a Skagway Centennial pin when he landed at Seattle with the Ton of Gold.
Gerald L. Pennington, 1929-2004
There were three loves in Gerry Penningtons life family, flying and Alaska.
Pennington died July 3 in Nevada after a long battle with cancer. He had just celebrated his 75th birthday on June 20.
Gerry was a devoted loving husband to Irene for 43 years, the proud father of four children Carol, Gerry, Laurie and Loretta. He is the proud grandfather to nine grandchildren, Erin, Denim, Justin, Leann, Joshua, Rasik, Farah, Jordan and Leilani. He traveled always to spend time with each of his children and grandchildren. His most recent trip was to see granddaughter, Leilani, graduate from college and see grandson, Justin, graduate from high school. Now hell be watching over them all as a citizen from heaven.
Flying was his main passion for more than 50 years, until he got Alaska under his skin. He regretted not listening to the adventures his father told of his experience in the Klondike Gold Rush. It wasnt until 1981 during his trip to Skagway with his brother, Leroy and two sisters, Naomi and Wini, that he felt his true calling from Alaska. That led him to begin gathering information for his 1997 book, Klondike Stampeder Register.
Gerry founded a non-profit organization, Klondike Stampeders Relative Association, to bring together relatives of the 1897-99 gold rush. Annually he made the trek, by motor home, from Las Vegas to Skagway to spend the summers in a town he truly loved. He was one of Skagways reresentatives on the Ton of Gold reenactment cruise to Seattle in 1997, and spoke at the banquet here on the life of his stampeder father, Fred Pennington.
September 2004 he was to take his place as the elected President of the International Sourdough Reunion, an organization he was proud to be a part of. He also was a member of Skagway Aerie No. 25 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
No one was a stranger long once they crossed paths with Gerry. He managed to make friends wherever he went. He loved flying, and anything to do with airplanes, browsing bookstores looking for old books on Alaska , surfing the web, watching old Westerns, M*A*S*H and English comedies.
One of the last things he mentioned to us all was that he was reflecting on his life and that he had a good life and that he wanted to go home to heaven.
In lieu of flowers ... it is our wishes that donations in his name are made to: Fund 80512 Sourdough Reunion Memorial Scholarship and mailed to: Office of Development (Attn: Donor Relations Manager), University of Alaska, PO Box 755060, Fairbanks AK 99775-5060.
The sender should indicate that the donation is in memory of Gerald L. Pennington and ask that his family be notified by mail at: 1651 Stephen Burnet Ct., Las Vegas, NV 89102.
Services are scheduled for Friday in Live Oak, Calif. Submitted by the family.