Nick Penner passed away on October 2, 2023, at the age of 74, in his brother Jake’s house in Warman, Saskatchewan, after a hard-fought and courageous battle with lung cancer. He was 7 days short of his 75th birthday. Nick was born on October 9, 1948, to Katherina and Bill Penner, in the Love, Saskatchewan area.
Nick attended school at Love, Saskatchewan. At age 16, Nick began working road construction jobs in Northeast Saskatchewan, followed by a job at Agra Industries, an oilseed plant in Nipawin, Saskatchewan.
Nick married Karen Thompson on March 21, 1967. To this union two beautiful children were born, a son Rick and daughter Connie. Nick was very proud of his family and loved them dearly. Nick and Karen were later divorced.
In 1968, Nick and Karen moved to Prince George, B.C., where Nick worked in sawmills and took on some building jobs. In 1973, they moved to Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, where Nick worked as an operator at MacMillan Bloedel wafer board plant. They only resided in Hudson Bay for one year and returned to Prince George for two more years. The warmer climates of the Okanagan lured them to the Kelowna, B.C. area in 1976. Nick worked for Westville Homes building houses, a career that he really enjoyed and was very skilled at and particular about. Quality really mattered to Nick. Nick and Karen also started their own home building company, Welcome Homes. When Nick had built a house, it was high quality and well built. He was particularly saddened to learn that a home he built and resided in West Kelowna was destroyed by the forest fires of 2023. That was his favorite house with many great features he designed and built into the house.
On August 29, 1998, Nick married Julie Alden. They later divorced.
Nick built his last home in Westshore Estates, southwest of Vernon, B.C. in 2006. Again, this is a beautiful house with features that Nick designed and built. He particularly loved the location where wildlife would often be seen in his yard.
In 2012, Nick came back to his Saskatchewan roots on and off for work. His brother Jake invited him to stay at his place in Warman, Saskatchewan. He was there at his time of passing. While in Saskatchewan, he along with his cousin Steve, worked for Janzen Construction building several commercial buildings. In 2012, Nick purchased 10.5 acres north of White Fox, Saskatchewan near Tobin Lake as a vacation property. Nick built a beautiful cabin on the property. The cabin was his favourite place to be, and his wish to have his ashes placed there will be granted in the spring.
Nick was no stranger to very hard work and taking on challenges! He was a physically strong, decisive, and skilled person. Injuries he suffered while working as a builder limited the activities he could engage in in his later years. He loved adventure, even built his own unmanned remote controlled Super Cub airplane. He obtained his certification to fly an ultra-light plane, including a float plane endorsement. He loved to ride his ATV, snowmobile, fish, and hunt, harvesting numerous big game species. In his later years, when physical conditions limited his activity, he said he would rather hunt with his camera. He loved listening to traditional country music and recently spent considerable time listening to gospel-based country music. Nick had a special affinity toward dogs that were always well trained, and recently a cat named Tiger, who didn’t like many people but loved Nick. His favorite saying when things didn’t go quite as he planned was “I’ll persevere” and that was certainly the case until his last breath.
Nick is survived by his son Rick Penner, Vernon, B.C.; daughter Connie Penner, Kelowna, B.C.; granddaughters whom he adored, Kendra McCarthy and Jenaya McCarthy, Kelowna, B.C. He is also survived by brothers and sisters Bill (Marilyn) Penner, Warman, SK; Jake Penner, Warman SK; Gloria (Ernie) Unger, Idaho Falls, ID; Dave (Phyllis) Penner, Hague, SK; Dan (Susan) Penner, Saskatoon, SK; Jean (Rodney) Janzen, Rosthern, SK; some aunts and uncles, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Nick was predeceased by both parents.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Warman Homecare nurses, his brother Jake for inviting Nick into his home, and a very special thank you to Terrell Penner for his unending care, support and service to Nick!
A celebration of life will be held in Saskatchewan in the spring of 2024.