Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Remembering Phil Penner
Yesterday we received a very tragic phone call informing us that one of Rodney's best friends, Phil had passed away. He was living in Indonesia and had contracted Dengue Fever which ended his life. When we heard the news we were crushed. Phil and Rodney had been friends since high school and remained close until he passed. He left a wife and a 3 year-old daughter behind and we couldn't grieve more for their loss.
I met Phil even before Rodney and I started dating because he would come to visit him (and their other mutual good friend, Dave) at Greenville. I remember my first impressions of him were that he was a cute, funny, and incredibly nice guy. He turned out to be one of the most loving people I knew and Rodney keeps referring to him as a saint. The individual that he worked with in Indonesia told his parents back in Kansas that Phil was one of the most godly men he had ever met. What a loss. Rodney was torn up all day yesterday and even came home from work early. He regeretted having to return today, but decided that he would wait to hear when the memorial service would be held in Kansas so he could take time off for that. From what we know, they will be having the funeral in Chicago (where he lived and met Esther before moving to Indonesia) in the next few days and then a memorial service in McPherson, KS towards the end of the week.
We are very sad about this and are going to miss Phil so much. Rodney said he would miss being able to learn from Phil the most. He informed me that he loved being able to ask him questions and even though they may not always agree, Phil would always teach Rodney something. I think Phil's life was a great lesson in how to be a loving person and a catalyst for God's will in the world. We offer prayers for Esther and Anna and his family in Kansas.
We will miss you dearly, Phil.
(P.S. The picture above of Phil, Rodney and I was taken Chicago O'Hare Airport in 2003 right before we left the country for Paraguay. This is a special memory for me since he was the last person we saw before we moved out of the country.)