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Walter's Story

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Walter Arthur Penrod passed away peacefully the evening of Feb. 4, 2018 with his sweetheart of 64 years holding his hand.
Born on Nov. 6, 1935 in Rapid City to James and Evelyn (Lyon) Penrod, he married Verlyn Irish on March 27, 1954. Together they raised five children, teaching them to work hard and enjoy life. Family road trips were taken as a reward for hard work, sending them across the country to more than 36 states.
A career entrepreneur, Walt's most notable businesses included Traverse City Window Cleaning Company, Robinson Electric, Acme Cherries and retailing Christmas trees in Traverse City and Arizona.
Known as a fair man, an honest man and a loving man, he could do anything he put his mind to learning.
Walt was a life member of the B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge #323 and a founding member and past president of the Antique Automobile Club of America. As a National Cherry Festival chauffeur ambassador, he loved driving guest dignitaries in his 1915 Chalmers.
His garden was bountiful, his golf handicap respectable and he played his stand up bass fiddle with all his heart. He was generous with his smile, his friendship, his counsel and always seemed to know which you needed most.
Walter is survived and celebrated by his wife, Verlyn; their children, Connie Penrod (Sias), Christy Penrod, Dennis Penrod (Melissa), Kelli Johnson (Kelley) and Steve Ryaning; as well as his grandchildren Zoe Sias Buettner (Dan), Nicolas Sias-Penrod (Dominica), Mackenzie Johnson, Mitchell Johnson, Brianna Johnson, Savanah Penrod and Hatti Penrod; and his great-grandchildren, Leo Buettner, Eliah Buettner, Dominik Sias-Penrod and Zoe Sias-Penrod.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Evelyn Penrod; his sister, Mary Ryaning; and his brother, James Penrod.
The family would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to Walter's caregivers, especially during his final days.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, with light refreshments following the service, at Covell Funeral Home in Traverse City.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.
Published on February 8, 2018
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