Graham Allen Penniman, Jr. Allen Penniman was born on All Saints Day, November 1, 1927 in Dallas, Texas and passed away of natural causes surrounded by family and loving friends on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 in Baton Rouge. "Almighty God, we remember before you our faithful servant, Allen; and we pray that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, you will receive him more and more into your joyful service" The Book of Common Prayer. Funeral services will be held at a later date. Mr. Penniman was the eldest son of G. Allen Penniman, Sr. and Frances Staten Penniman of Dallas and Shreveport. His dear sister is Margaret Penniman Fontaine of Shreveport and his brother was the late E. Erwin Penniman of Pensacola. Mr. Penniman was a graduate from Highland Park High School in Dallas and graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1948. He later attended LSU and was a graduate of the first class of the Mid-South Executive Development Program. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, Beta Chapter, VMI. Having had many successful business ventures, Mr. Penniman is fondly remembered for the Pak-a-Sak convenience stores which offered shopping all day- seven days a week, the first self-service gasoline, as well as its famous barbeque sandwiches and Icee frozen drinks. Mr. Penniman served on the Board of the Council of Profit Sharing Industries and was especially proud that his company offered a profit sharing program to all its employees. In 1971, Pak-a-Sak merged with Southland Corporation of Dallas, and Mr. Penniman served as a liaison and regional manager throughout the southeastern part of the United States. In 1982, Mr. Penniman founded the Penniman Company, with a business outlook of acquiring, managing, and selling companies. He was a mentor, counselor, and friend to many young business people, and he was respected and revered for his generosity and business acumen. While an active businessman, Mr. Penniman cared deeply for his community and was involved in many philanthropic activities. He tirelessly served on non-profit boards and was Campaign Chairman and then President for the United Givers Fund. He served on the boards of the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Convenience Stores, St. Lukes and St. James Episcopal Churches where he acted as a vestryman and served on the school boards. He was a board member of the Capital Savings and Loan Association, The City National Bank, Community Coffee Company, Charter Chambers Supply, Miller Penniman Equipment, and Vermillion Inc. In 1961, he received the Young Businessman of the Year award. Mr. Penniman's proudest civic contribution came in the support of the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. He was a Founder of the school and was the last surviving member of that original group. He was a tireless fundraiser promoting, what was in the beginning, only an idea: to create an excellent Episcopal secondary school in Baton Rouge. He served as Board President many times in the early years. He was unfailing in his support throughout the decades, contributing to building campaigns, scholarships, and teacher incentives. He would say, "A day never goes by without my thinking of Episcopal School." He considered his support of the school his great accomplishment, and four of his grandchildren had the honor of receiving their graduating diplomas from their grandfather. Mr. Penniman was a member of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and used his Penniman Family Fund to support numerous non-profit organizations. He was a member of the LSU Foundation and supported the School of Arts and Music and the E.J. Ourso School of Business. He adored LSU baseball, was a member of the Coaches Committee, and was a regular attendee at Alex Box Stadium. He grew up hunting and fishing and loved the outdoors. In 1975 he bought property in Clinton, Louisiana, and developed the beautiful land he called Penniman Oaks. He taught every grandchild how to shoot a shotgun and bait a hook. He planted fifty live oaks. Those trees, large now, carry his legacy of love of family and promise in the future. He was a loving and generous patriarch to our large family. He was married in 1948 to Mary Virginia Crain Penniman and together they had five children. After her death, he married Joan Calder Penniman in 1977. The Penniman Family is Laurie and Al McDuff, and girls, Mary Virginia and Kate; Mary Crain and Bill Brumback, and son Jake; Margaret Boudreaux and children, Elliott and Anne; Graham and Maureen Penniman, and children, Alyce, Rita, Mary Margaret, William, and Catherine; Robert and Rebecca and children, George, Jack and Elizabeth; Lila and Randy Mulkey and daughters, Sarah, Claire, and Amy; Caroline and Charles Coutret and children, Will, Gordon, and Eloise; Gordon and Susan Atkins and children, Mary Katherine, Edward and Henry, as well as four great granddaughters. He kept up with every child and grandchild, never forgot a birthday, knew the name of every school and college, every field of study, every A. He attended every graduation. He would say his family was his greatest accomplishment. We would say he was our greatest gift. Friends and associates who had great effect in his life, and are remembered with gratitude by his family, are Dr. Edgar Crow, Vaughn R. Heady, Robert G. Pollack, Max Edward Tonkon, General James M. Morgan, Levere C. Montgomery, Henry B. Bruser, Dr. O. M. Thompson, Jr., William Heard Wright, Jr., Hermann Moyse, Jr., the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Witcher, the Rev. Ralph Howe. Our family is grateful to Shirley Ann Carey for her lifetime of service and prayer. Joanne Ford brought laughter, cheer, organization, good food, and fun dogs. Our Daddy adored Joanne and her husband, Jeff. Carol Ray was his devoted and tolerant secretary for thirty years. Thank you, Dr. Lewis Minsky for wise and compassionate care. Diana Franklin, Patrice Oliney, and Victoria Arthur gave our father tender loving care at the end of his life. Rights of Passage and Celebration of Allen Penniman's Life will be held at a later, safer date. Memorial gifts are requested to the Penniman Family Fund at Episcopal School, St. James Episcopal Church, or a charity of your choice.
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Published in The Advocate from Apr. 2 to Apr. 5, 2020.