Joseph D Pennington

March 18, 1932 ~ October 10, 2018 (age 86)


Joseph D. Pennington, affectionately known as Joe or J.D., was born March 18, 1932 to Joseph Pennington and Florence French Pennington in Clarksdale, Mississippi. His heavenly father called him home the afternoon of October 10, 2018 in Portland, OR. Joseph was the sixth of 8 children.

Joe married the love of his life, Christine Roper September 13, 1953. They soon had two sons, Joseph Lee and Demoris. In 1956, Joe moved to Portland ahead of his family looking for work, he soon found employment with Southern Pacific Railroad. His wife and sons joined him in Portland shortly after. Joe worked for the railroad company for the next 12 years, a serious back injury abruptly ended his employment there.  During those years he and his wife had 5 more children; Mary, Alfred, Tony, Darlene, and Christopher. In the late 1960s he worked as a bus driver for Boise Elementary School and in his later years he was a landscaper.

Joe was a man of faith, he gave his life to the lord in 1969 and joined Immanuel Free Methodist Church (now Life Change Church) where he was also baptized. He served on the church board and would often lead Sunday night bible studies. You could often catch him singing a hymn around the house.

Joe was also man of many hobbies. He loved to fish, he took many fishing trips to Rainer, Clatskanie, and Snake River. He also loved to travel. He and his wife took many trips out of state and to the Oregon Coast.  He was a skilled mechanic and he enjoyed fixing cars. He liked to cook, he cooked many family dinners. One of his specialty dishes was yams. He scrapped metal. He also loved watching westerns. One of his favorites was Bonanza, if he had the remote you were stuck watching it too.

Joe was a strong man. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 90’s and overcame the disease shortly after. In 2014, after receiving the dementia diagnosis, Joe continued to live a productive life. He attended many family gatherings and other outings until he was physically unable. Though at times Joe experienced pain in his body he never complained, he would smile and say that he was alright. 

Joe will always be remembered as a fun and loving family man. He loved to crack jokes and make people laugh. Even when his illness worsened and his memory began to fade he still had his signature smile that would light up the room. He was someone that his family could always depend on. He had a kind spirit and generous heart that will always be missed.

Proceeding him in death are his parents, his brothers; Roosevelt and Leroy, his sisters Doshie, Mae Willie, Lilly Bea and Minnie Lee, his son; Demoris, grandson; Demoris, and great-grandson; Azai McDonald.

Joe leaves to cherish his memory, his wife; Christine Pennington, his children; Joseph Lee Pennington, Mary Gill (Lee), Alfred Pennington, Tony Pennington Sr., Darlene Pennington, and Christopher Pennington Sr. His grandchildren; Deshawn Pennington, Erica Spencer (Dyon), Michelle Cole, Tony Pennington Jr., Eric LaVon Mashia of Dallas, TX, Brandon Gill (Shannon), Demorsha Baldwin (Chris), Nakiya Pennington, Kapri Sullivan (Quentin) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Diondre Pennington, Christopher Pennington Jr., and DaMon McDonald. His great-grandchildren; Demorisean Pennington, Demoriauna Jacobs,  Malcolm Cole II, Rinyiah Jacobs, Charles Blake Jr., Sanea Blake, Ble’Auja Ross, Eryn Spencer, Alizabeth Pennington, Harmony McDonald, Hirani Baldwin, Devyn Spencer and Crew Gill. He also leaves to mourn a host of nieces, nephews.


To send flowers to Joseph's family, please visit our floral section.


October 21, 2018

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Funeral Service
October 22, 2018

11:00 AM
Life Change Church
3635 N Williams Ave.
Portland, OR 97227

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