Carl Penno, 98, Marshfield, formerly of Edgar passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020 while under the care of Heartland Hospice at Aster Assisted Living Center in Marshfield, WI.
Carl was an educator in Blair, WI and also Edgar, serving as a high school teacher, guidance counselor and principal. In his early twenties he saw extended combat in World War II, earning a purple heart, serving in North Africa, Anzio and the Battle of the Bulge. He felt his calling to become a teacher while in combat, promising himself that he would serve others if he survived the war.
Proudly serving as a Corporal during WWII Carl was wounded in action at Anzio Beech. He also served in North Africa, 2nd Armored Division under General George Patton and at Cassino in Italy in 1943. He landed in southern France on D-Day with the 5th Army and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He served with the Army of Occupation in Germany for six months as an interpreter. He was finally discharged at Camp Grant, Illinois in 1945.
He married Margaret (Marge) Florence Mueller soon after discharge from the Army, and they remained married until her death in 2008. He attended college under the GI Bill at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and obtained a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin – Superior. He spent most of his life living in Edgar, WI. Carl was fortunate to enjoy retirement for more than 40 years. He also belonged to many clubs and organizations in the Edgar and Wausau areas.
Like all of us, Carl experienced many joys and sorrows during his life. Among them was a great sadness that the family experienced when daughter, Mary Ellen, suddenly passed away at the age of 18 in 1967. Aside from his very dear wife and family, music was definitely among Carl’s greatest joys. He could play several instruments and he loved to sing. His incredible memory produced a repertoire of several hundred tunes, including hymns and old-time music which he would play at the drop of a hat on his accordion, making frequent visits to play for nursing home residents in Marshfield. Carl also enjoyed spending many summers at Lake Tomahawk and traveling with Margaret.
Until recently he played his accordion at the Aster during Happy Hour Fridays. Carl loved languages. During the War, he enthusiastically learned words, phrases and songs in French and Italian, and remembering them long after. His German was very good, and he was asked to stay on in Germany after the War to interrogate German officers. He cherished having the time to read – histories in particular. He enjoyed carving birds for friends and family. Other joys during his eight year stay at the Aster included cheering up any resident who seemed to be lonely and helping with church services.
Carl has two surviving children Mark (Bonnie) Penno, Iowa City, Iowa and Tim (Linda) Penno, Marshfield and one grandson, Alex Penno, Houston, Texas.
Besides his parents and loving wife, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary Ellen Penno in 1967, his sister Dorothy Mais and his brothers, Lawrence, Fred and Irvin.
Private family services will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Edgar is in charge of arrangements. Memorials in Carl’s name may be directed to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, Wausau. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to all the staff at Aster Assisted Living Center and Heartland Hospice for the outstanding care they all gave Carl during his stay with them.
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