American Veteran 01

John Addison Penney

January 8, 1922 ~ December 27, 2021 (age 99)


John Addison Penney, 99, a 40 year resident of Athens, TN, died and was ushered into glory on December 27, 2021. Though absent from the body, he is now present with the Lord. Born on January 8, 1922, the son of Harold Fanning Penney and Janet Madorah Bates Penney and, after his mother’s death in 1927, his stepmother Sara Lillian Pettit Penney, John and his siblings grew up during the Great Depression and moved numerous times as his father followed the opportunities for employment.

John was a WW II veteran serving in the U. S. Maritime Service from 1941 to 1946. He graduated from training at Fort Trumbull in New London, CT. as a licensed Third Mate in August 1944. He was then assigned to a new Liberty Ship in Baltimore, MD and sailed in convoy across the Atlantic.

John married the love of his life, Martha Agnes McMullan on December 16, 1945. Martha preceded him in death after 70 years of marriage.  Together, they raised their four children, John Jr., Robert, James and Sara in Center Moriches, NY on Long Island. John worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Brookhaven, NY from 1950 to 1981 in the Reactor Division, retiring as an Isotope and Special Materials Engineer.

John always served as an active member of his church wherever he lived. He also served on the Center Moriches, District 23, School Board for eleven years including as President of the School Board during that time. John was a member of community choruses in both Center Moriches and Athens. He enjoyed gardening and kept his own vegetable garden until the age of 97. He was an excellent sketch artist and loved sailing on the Great South Bay of Long Island.

John loved to read, especially the Bible, which he made a practice of reading through each year.

John was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings Harold Fanning Penney, Jr., Franklin Forest Penney, Louise Bates Penney Moffat, and Madeline Joy Penney Adsit and by his beloved wife Martha, their first child, a son who died at birth, and by his great grandson Luke Shumate.

He is survived by his four children John A. Penney Jr. (Rebecca), Robert M. Penney (Winkie), James F. Penney (Dottie) and Sara J. (Sally) Penney Kessler (Paul) and their families including seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

A memorial service will be held on January 8, 2022 at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, 800 Decatur Pike, Athens, TN 37303.

Friends will be received beginning at 1:00 pm with the memorial service beginning at 2:00 pm.

Interment will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 43 Main Street, Center Moriches, Suffolk County, New York at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Chattanooga.

If you are unable to attend the visitation and memorial service, you can sign the online guest registry at:

Ziegler Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of John Addison Penney.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Addison Penney, please visit our floral store.


January 8, 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Allen Memorial United Methodist Church (Decatur Pike, Athens)

Memorial Service
January 8, 2022

2:00 PM
Allen Memorial United Methodist Church (Decatur Pike, Athens)

© 2022 Ziegler Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy