Penny P. O’Connell, 59 the daughter of Gwynn Holman Peacock Kidd and the late Jack Peacock was born in Quincy, Florida on February 11, 1962, and died on Sunday, September 5, 2021, in Tallahassee, FL from Respiratory Failure caused by Covid-19.
Penny married Mark O’Connell in 2005 and immediately blended with their five children: Shelbi O’Connell Hurley (Brian), Rory O’Connell, Sean O’Connell (Erin), Ronnie Rentz (Christina) and Kaitlyn Rentz Lancaster (Trey). Penny cherished being a grandmother and was blessed with ten grandchildren: Grace Hurley, Lily Hurley, Padraig O’Connell, Althea O’Connell, Phoenix Rentz, Flora Rentz, Aurora Rentz, Raiford Lancaster, Rentz Lancaster and Lawton Lancaster. Although her daughter, Kaitlyn, is living in Zimbabwe Penny got to visit and spend five weeks with her and her family this past spring. In June she took her mother and, with Mark they visited Shelbi and her family in Arizona and were able to travel to the Grand Canyon with the entire family. Penny and Mark traveled together visiting Ireland, Scotland and England numerous times, visited several of the Caribbean Islands and dozens of places throughout the United States. We thought we weren’t finished traveling.
Mark’s daughter Shelbi best described Penny when she wrote: Today the world lost the kindest person I’ve ever met. Knowing Penny was to love her. She never met a stranger. Penny made friends wherever she went and that included all around the Globe. The world lost an amazing, kind, compassionate, giving, joyful soul today. I met Penny at my wedding 17 years ago. She was my father’s soulmate, my girls’ Memaw, and my Wicked (awesome) Stepmother. She was part Mom (when I needed one) and part big sister (which I always needed). Penny loved me, Hurl, and our girls FIERCELY and made sure we knew it. My babies were her first grandbabies. She never missed an opportunity to tell them how immensely proud she was of them or let them know how deeply they were loved. She spoiled them rotten, expected big things from them, and wanted even bigger things for them. When we were with Memaw we played in the mud, explored nature, watched as periwinkles raced to re-bury themselves at the beach, caught ghost crabs, hermit crabs, lizards, tree frogs, fireflies, scallops, and so many fish. We kayaked, hiked, birdwatched and went spelunking and camped out under the stars. We read endless books, spent hours in bookstores and at libraries. We crafted, and snuggled, and played games. Penny loved game time.
Penny is also survived by her mother, Gwynn Holman Kidd, her brother, Jack Peacock (Greta), her sisters Jill King (Gordon) and her son Will, and Gaye Lashley (Jamey) and their daughter Mallory and her son Pierson and her brother, David Kidd (Allison) and their sons Haden and Connor. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law, Daniel O’Connell, Chuck O’Connell (Dottie), and Kevin O’Connell. Scott Whitehead of The Faith Funeral Home in Havana, FL is overseeing arrangements. ( www.faithfuneralhome.com or 850.539.4300)
Because Kaitlyn is in Zimbabwe and is currently unable to travel, we are delaying any memorial service until Kaitlyn returns to the U.S. next July. Penny was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Quincy. At the time of her death, she served as the Executive Director of Quincy Main Street and was passionate about revitalizing the community. Please consider donations in Penny’s memory to: Quincy Main Street, 104 N. Adams Street, Quincy, Florida, 32351.
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