Pennell, Fredrick T.

Fredrick T. “Ferd” Pennell, Major, USAF (Retired)
February 27, 1931 – January 25, 2008

Major Frederick T. Pennell, USAF (Retired), passed away on Friday, January 25, 2008, at the age of 76. He was born in Richland Center, WI on February 27, 1931.

He spent his early years on the family farm. Life for Fred on the farm was both hard work and play. Simple beginnings of milking cows by hand and plowing fields with a horse drawn plow. During the early years, his love for flying was born. When playing in the barn, his imagination took him to the sky as a pilot. In his teenage years, he made the dream of flying a reality. He took on odd jobs to earn the money to learn to fly. He was able to get his pilot’s license before graduating from high school.

A few years after high school, Fred found himself in the Air Force as a Basic Airman during the Korean War. He then came back from his enlistment to attend Officer Candidate School and Pilot training. During his training he learned to fly the T-6 Texan, B-25 and B-29. It was also during this time he met his wife to be, Donanell Cummings. They were married on June 9, 1958, in San Antonio. During his Air Force career, he flew Helicopters during the Vietnam War for the Green Hornet Squadron, which he lovingly called The Huey.

After retiring, which brought him and his family back to San Antonio, Fred then went back to school to learn to work on airplanes. With his A&P license, he went to work at the Dee Howard Co. for 20 years. With his second retirement, he didn’t slow down. He enjoyed time with his wife, vacationing, working around the house, and being an active member of the EAA. He also built his own airplane. He was the type of man that would do anything for anyone at any time, with only one question…what can I do to help?

Fred leaves behind a wide circle of family and friends that will miss him dearly: Donanell Pennell, his loving wife of 49 years; 2 sons, Fred and William Pennell; 2 daughters-in-law, Karen Pennell and Olga Pennell; 3 grandchildren, Shawn Pennell, Kaitlin Pennell, Jonathan Pennell; 2 great-grandchildren, Cooper and Kynlee; 2 sisters, Madonna and Joan; 10 nieces and nephews, Kirsten, Kent, Kimberly, Catherine, Kevin, Kent, Jay, William, Marty and Danny.

SERVICES Visitation will be held on Tuesday-January 29, 2008, from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North. Graveside Services will be on Wednesday-January 30, 2008, at 1:00 PM at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with full Air Force Honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You may sign the on-line guestbook at under the obituary section. Mission Park Funeral Chapels North.

Published by San Antonio Express-News on Jan. 28, 2008.

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