Joe Penner

May 20, 1943 - April 6, 2020

Wallace Joe Penner, of Beaumont, died on April 6, 2020, at the age of 76. He was born in Pryor, Oklahoma, and grew up in the countryside outside of Tulsa. After graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1966 with a degree in electrical engineering, he moved to Beaumont, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Joe began his engineering career with General Electric Corporation where he worked for thirteen years. For the remaining twenty-seven years of his career, he worked as an electrical engineer for Entergy Corporation (formerly Gulf States Utilities). Creative and resourceful, he could repair anything, build most anything, and fashion solutions to electrical and mechanical engineering problems. Joe was a registered professional engineer (P.E.). Though he was remarkably gifted, he was the most humble of men.

Joe met Jenny on January 1, 1969. They were introduced to each other at church by Mrs. Love. The story of Joe and Jenny’s own love began that day and continued unabated for over 49 years. A number of months after they met in 1969, Joe was working out of town in New Jersey. While there, he wrote Jenny a letter declaring his love and proposing marriage to her. At the conclusion of that letter, he included a passage of scripture from Psalm 34:3: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Joe honored his commitment to God and to Jenny throughout his life and during their 49 years of marriage.

Joe was a man who valued his family. His love for his wife, children, grandchildren, and other family members was boundless. He and Jenny spent many vacations camping with their children. They particularly loved to travel in their RV to state parks and corps of engineer parks in various parts of the United States. Their favorite state parks were Palo Duro Canyon State Park in north Texas and Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee.

Joe’s priorities in life were his faith and his family. The Christian walk was not a part-time endeavor for him, but a full-time calling. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Bevil Oaks for many years and was a deacon in the church. He loved singing in the church choir, studying the Bible, teaching an adult Sunday School class, and working with the youth. His commitment to God was evident in all he did. As one of his co-workers stated during his speech at Joe’s retirement ceremony, “Whenever you hear the name Joe Penner, you think of honor, integrity, and honesty.”

Joe is survived by his wife, Jenny of Beaumont; daughter, Elisabeth Hale and her husband, John of Houston; son, Andrew Penner and his wife, Valerie of Lumberton; granddaughter, Ava Penner and grandson, Ethan Penner of Kountze; sister, Ronda Wise and her husband, Bill, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; brother, Lloyd Penner, of Mt. Hope, Kansas; and his dear, extended family members, Pam and Christian Edmonds and their children of Kountze.

Jenny wishes to thank Mrs. Roselyne Vertil, R.N., and all the other staff members at Serenity Assisted Care Living of Beaumont, Texas, who provided so much love and care to “Mr. Joe” and “Ms. Jenny” during their eleven month stay there.

A private graveside service will be held for Joe this week and his memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 2350 IH-10 East, Beaumont, Tx. 77703, or Gideon’s International, P. O. Box 97251, Washington D.C. 20090-7251.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Forest Lawn Memorial Park
  • 4955 pine st beaumont tx 77703

Broussard's Mortuary - Major Drive

Broussard's Mortuary - Major Drive
  • 1605 n. major drive beaumont tx 77713

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Mary Lou Trahan Alsdurf

I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. Please take care of yourself. It meant so much to me when you came to Earls funeral. It’s a journey neither one of us wanted to travel down. Your friend Mary

Jim Dumesnil

To the family of Joe , I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing...I knew Joe from the old Gulf States and Entergy Days,.God Bless

Dee Booker

I am saddened to hear about Joe's passing. but joyful in knowing he's in the arms of Jesus now. He played such a vital role in our church, especially ministering to the children. He will be greatly missed. Praying for you and the family.

Luke snd Harriet

Jenny we are sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. We haven’t been in touch so we didn't know he was Ill. All our prayers and love with you and the family.

Anne Legg Hoffpauir

Jenny I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. What a comfort that you know where Joe is and that you will join him at a later time. My prayers are with you and your family

michael trapasso

Jenny, I am so sorry to hear of Joe's passing, but, of course, you and I know it was a graduation and homecoming for Him. I cannot think of a more virtuous and loving couple than you and Joe.- and I mean every word of that. It has been one of my better privileges in life to have known you most of my life and to have known Joe. Thank you for your friendship, If Kiki and I can be of help. please let us know - and please stay in contact - don't fade away. Without any triteness ,God bless you, Jenny - your friend, michael trapasso

Linda Harvey

Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss of your best friend and husband. While I didn’t know Joe, I do remember that you always spoke with a tenderness toward him. Your BSF friend.

Dianne Fanning

Jenny, I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m heartbroken for you. I do rejoice with you that Joe is with his Jesus, where you will join them some day. My prayers are with you during this difficult time. Love, Dianne Jamar Fanning.

Janet Cleaveland

Jenny and Family, I met Joe right after the hurricane and what a guy he was! Ever the gentleman, always looking out for the other person characterized Joe. I couldn't believe you and Joe had built that house in Bevil Oaks together. What a talented man! I regret that you did not have him longer. Jenny, you've been a wonderful supporter and caretaker for Joe, even in these most difficult times. I pray God will bless you and your family in a mighty way. I'm quite sure Joe will enjoy meeting with "The Word made flesh." Your Bible Study Fellowship groupie, Jan

Myra Hanson

Jenny, so many memories of Joe, I know you will miss him dearly but I also know that God's grace and peace will comfort you as you know he's no longer suffering. Love to you and your family.

Leanne Johnson

Jenny, you and Joe shared a lifetime of love and devotion to one another and to the Lord.. Joe's obituary is so well written and a beautiful tribute to one of God's most treasured souls.. I know without a doubt that Joe Penner was welcomed into Heaven with a resounding greeting of "Well done, my good and faithful servant! Well done!" May God grant you and your family peace, comfort, and strength in your time of sorrow.

Donna Knapp Sonnier

I'm sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

Nancy Canant Stephens

Jenny, I read of Joe’s passing on the French High School website this morning. Then I got a message from my brother Doug that he saw you at Broussards. Ron and I are so sorry to learn of your loss. We have such fond memories of Joe when we were newly married couples. Our thoughts and hearts are with you in the days ahead.

Nancy Canant Stephens

Jenny, I read of Joe’s passing on the French High School website this morning. Then I got a message from my brother Doug that he saw you at Broussards. Ron and I are so sorry to learn of your loss. We have such fond memories of Joe when we were newly married couples. Our thoughts and hearts are with you in the days ahead.

Elaine White

Joe will be missed by so many. He had such a kind and gentle spirit and such a wonderful sense of humor. It was so obvious how much he treasured Jenny and his children . Hie adored his grandchildren . I know that it will be difficult for all of them to fill the void that Joe’s passing leaves. It was a joy to have known Joe so many years and have the reassurance that we will all be together once again.

Peggy Sterling Scarborough/Georgetown, TX

Jenny, Please know you are being thought of, lifted, & prayed for by many high school classmates from across the miles...❤️

Concetta A Rollins

Jenny and family - I worked with Joe about 28 years ago at Gulf States Utilities. He was a very strong christian many with strong family values. He always spoke of his wife and children. They were so important to him. It was an honor to know Joe and to have the privilege to work with him. My condolences to each and every one of you.

Dr. Ed Collins

I did not know Joe near as well as his wife and daughter but I do know they were wonderful people who loved the Lord. May God grant you peace , healing and love during this time.

Dane James

I worked with Joe for many years and he was one of the best people, His know how and advice when it came to working on Substation Equipment was top notch. Joe was such a super cool guy to have a conversation with, I was saddened to hear of Joe's passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Joes family. Farewell my Friend.

James Raleigh

One of the smartest men I ever knew. Joe was very intelligent but had the gift of being able to share that knowledge with other in a clear concise manner. He also was a very positive person never speaking a negative thought on another. I only knew him professionally but agree with the comments I have seen on his humbleness and other qualities. I'm sure he will be missed by many

Todd & DeAnn Miller

Joe always took an interest in us and our ministry. And he ask good questions about how we were doing and often sent us support. I am his cousin Harvey Jantzs oldest daughter. Blessing as you process this loss during this difficult time.

Con and Teddy Edds

Dear Jenny and family Con and I were so sorry to hear of Joe's passing, we have fond memories of our days at Cathedral when Elisabeth and Sally were in school. Please give our love to Elisabeth, and know we are praying for comfort and peace through the days and weeks ahead for you all. Love Teddy and Con

Candy Mathis Hollis

Joe was delightful to work with at Gulf States. Please know that you have my deepest sympathy.

David Becker

Joe was a friend and a mentor, he will be greatly missed. God's speed. My prayers go out to the family and friends of Joe!

Victor Kachel

Jenny - We are very sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. He was a wonderful spirit in the world and I’ll always remember his kindness, generosity, laugh, and singing. Wishing you and your family peace during these difficult times.

Eddie Himel

Joe was an excellent person and a great engineer. I'm honored to have worked with Joe and I'm sorry for the family's loss. God bless.


Will always be grateful for the time Joe was a member of Men's 3 class at FBCBO. Joe was always open to share his faith and experiences. To Jenny and family, our prayers will be with you.

Ron Ladwig

It was truly an honor to minister to the Penner family! Ms. Jenny made sure that all of his needs were met with the highest level of care. Thank you for allowing us to care for Mr. Joe through his final days with us.

Gwain Walley Olsen

Jenny, our hearts are breaking for you and your family. Jack and I are so saddened with the news of Joe's passing. We have fond memories of Joe & Jack working together at GE and you & I teaching and carpooling together so many years ago. Of course, the special memory is when you and Joe introduced us back then. For that we are thankful. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers.


So sad to hear of his passing. Any time I was in a conversation with Joe I felt an uncommon peacefulness. To honor Joe I should be more like him. He was a great friend, coworker and neighbor.

Belgacem hizoum

i am saddened to hear about Joe's passing. he was a good friend and father to me. He will be greatly missed. Praying for you and the family.

John Huppe

In the late 80’s or early 90’s I struck up a meaningful conversation with Joe Penner, a resident of Beaumont Texas, at a food court in Massachusetts, exchanging philosophical views. On his return to Texas, he sent me a couple of chapters from a book, God’s Plan of the Ages. I tend to hoard memorabilia, and for some reason I kept those photocopied pages all these years. I am now retired and sorting through all such saved items, and apparently, God is still not done with me yet. I looked up Joe, and I was sad to hear he had passed this past April. My condolences to Jenny and the entire family.