TWU mourns loss of longstanding board member

Langley, B.C.—Trinity Western University is sad to report the passing of one of its longstanding board members and faithful supporters, Jim Penner. After a long battle with cancer, the beloved husband, father and grandfather and respected businessman, statesman and charitable giver, passed away peacefully on January 17, 2004 at the age of 64.

"We are very saddened by the news of Jim's passing, and extend our sympathy, love and prayers to the Penner family," said TWU President Neil Snider. "Jim was an influential and tireless contributor on our board, and a passionate ambassador for Trinity Western. We will miss him. Since first becoming friends with Jim more than 40 years ago, I've admired his love for God, for people, and his commitment to leading a life marked by integrity and grace."

Jim began his service as a Trinity Western University Board member in 1981. In October of 2002, he was recognized by TWU for his outstanding example of leadership and was granted an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Born on September 4, 1939 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Jim is survived by his wife of 45 years, Beverley (nee Reimer), his sons Phillip and Greg (Dianne) of Steinbach, daughter Judy (Jeremy) of Winnipeg, his grandchildren Alixandra, Madeleine, Clarey, Lauren, Carli and by his older brother Reginald (Marj), and younger sister Donna.

Jim is most recognized for his 36 years as President of Penner Foods Ltd., an independent grocery chain that originated as a family-owned grocery store run by Jim and his father. Jim is credited with never losing sight of the importance of people, and Penner Foods therefore developed a reputation for superior service and as one of the best places to work in Manitoba. Jim always credited the success of Penner Foods to his staff and customers.

In honour of Jim, his immense contribution to TWU and his commitment to higher education, the University has established a $10,000 James R. Penner Memorial Scholarship.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 am on Wednesday January 21, 2004 at the Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church in Steinbach, Manitoba. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim can be made to the TWU scholarship fund (7600 Glover Road, Langley B.C. V2Y 1Y1), or to the Association for Community Living (395 Main Street, Steinbach MB, R5G 1Z4).

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,500 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 13 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-20
Author: Keela Keeping