Emmarene Ida "Rena" Pennington, a homemaker who later became a school bus driver, died Sunday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson.
She was 92.
Emmarene Ida Bartholomae, the daughter of a German immigrant carpenter and a homemaker, was born and raised in El Paso, Texas.
After graduating from El Paso High School in 1937, she attended business school, where she studied to become a secretary.
Something of a tomboy in her youth growing up in Texas, Mrs. Pennington had been a Powder Puff Derby driver.
In 1941, she married William Y. Pennington, a young Army officer she had met at Fort Bliss who later joined the diplomatic corps.
While her husband served as defense and military attache to American embassies in Germany and Switzerland, Mrs. Pennington studied art and was an active member of the American Woman's Club.
"As a wife of a diplomat, she was not allowed to work," said her daughter, Susan L. Pennington, who lives in Towson. "Once her husband retired to Bern, Switzerland, she got a job driving the school bus for the International School in Bern."
The couple later moved to Towson. Mrs. Pennington joined Grace United Methodist Church and became an active member.
Mrs Pennington enjoyed playing bridge, dancing and attending parties.
"She was often the life of the party," her daughter said.
Her husband died in 2007.
A memorial service celebrating Mrs. Pennington's life will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the second-floor lounge at Edenwald, 600 Southerly Road.
There are no other survivors.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun