Penny Ann Mason died peacefully on August 12, 2020. She was born in Chicago on December 21, 1945 (yes, you read that right; she looked like she was 50 max), to Lester and Eleanor Stebor. Around the time of her birth, the song “Pennies From Heaven” was popular and her father always thought of that song on her birthday.
Penny met the love of her life (or the bane of her existence depending on the circumstances), Bob Mason, aka 'Mase' (a nickname Penny always used), at the Corral in LaGrange, Illinois. She was 16, Mase was 17, and it was love at first sight... it just took Mase a little while to figure that out. They were married at St Francis Catholic Church in LaGrange on August 17, 1968. We’ll just round that up to 52 years of marriage.
Together, Penny and Mase were privileged to be the proud parents of Shannon (Michael) McNutt, Megan (Roger) Knight, and Holly (Scott) Porter. Through their daughters’ concerted efforts, they were Nene and Popi to 6 wonderful, loving grandchildren: Bella and Lexie McNutt, Hazel and Isaac Knight, and Sophie and Lucy Porter; five girls and finally, a boy.
Penny grew up with one brother, Perry, and had to adjust to the chaos of her large brood, which she did with aplomb. Mase grew up in a family of 5 brothers and 1 sister so gender evened out over the years and he had to adjust as well. Penny graduated from KU with a BA in 1968. After being a full time Mom and with her children grown, she began working as a receptionist at the Ken-Caryl Community Center, working there for over 25 years and retiring earlier this year. She loved her job and her coworkers, and always had stories for Mase at the end of her day.
The best way to describe Penny is she was a wonderful wife, who had high expectations of Mase (and he worked hard to meet them right up to the end); an incredible mother who loved her children fiercely; and she simply blossomed when she became Nene. She reveled in that role because…..she had babies again. When she had all 6 together with no parents around, there were only 2 rules: “No Fighting” (which amazingly never happened! True!) and “What goes on at Nene’s house stays at Nene’s house” as she insisted on serving them a balanced diet of her famous ooey, gooey cookies at 10 am, ice cream for lunch, and had Lady Gaga dance parties after their naps to burn off the sugar. Her children and grandchildren were her “happily ever after” and she knew it.
Penny is survived by Bob, her daughters and grandchildren, and her loving brother, Perry, and his wife Erin.
Next summer when Shannon comes back from Europe, we will have a celebration of Penny’s life. Bob will provide the beer, the wine, and the booze; and those who knew her will provide the stories. Date and venue to be determined; and you’ll all be informed of the when and where.
Penny loved to cook and was happiest when she was feeding her hungry brood. In lieu of flowers and if you are so inclined, consider feeding the hungry for her by donating to one of her favorite charities, Food Bank Of The Rockies, https://www.foodbankrockies.org/
Finally, to change the lyrics just a bit and with apologies: “She’s crossed the River Jordan with St Peter on the other side with open arms saying: Good Ride, Cowgirl, Good Ride”.
To send flowers to Penny's family, please visit our floral store.
Food Bank of the Rockies
10700 East 45th Avenue, Denver CO 80239