Johnny Penson passed away on October 20 at the age of 44. Johnny was born on March 27, 1971 in Urbana, Illinois. His parents, John and Donna Penson, moved the family to College Station in 1975.
Johnny leaves behind his parents, brother Matthew Penson, sister Laura Patterson, brother-in-law Tom Patterson, nephew Kyle Patterson, and niece Emme Patterson.
Johnny was diagnosed with a rare choriocarcinoma brain tumor just days after he quarterbacked his 8th grade football team. He underwent extensive radiation followed by two years of chemotherapy. He was given one year to live at that time. Johnny became part of the Sunshine Kids program in Houston during this period. He had the opportunity to meet with President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan at the White House. He also met then Vice President George Bush and Barbara Bush.
Johnny graduated from A&M Consolidated high school in the class of 1989. He went on to major in early childhood development at Stephen F. Austin University, graduating in 1995.
Shortly after graduating from college, Johnny suffered a major stroke, which severely affected his short term memory, ending his dream of becoming a teacher. Johnny turned to volunteering as a helper in the preschool at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, where he became known to the children as “Mr. John”.
An extremely rare mesothelioma tumor in his abdominal cavity ultimately claimed his life. His family considers the 31 years they had with Johnny after his brain tumor in 1984 a true blessing. Three decades of visiting doctors and undergoing treatments were never accompanied by a complaint.
Johnny’s family is eternally grateful for his many friends from the 1989 A&M Consolidated high school class who have traveled near and far to visit with Johnny and let him know the impact he had on their lives. Letters and cards sent by others told how he impacted the lives of many. We are also grateful to Holy Cross Lutheran Church for the love and spiritual nourishment provided to Johnny and to Hospice Brazos Valley nurses Marty and Pam who provided compassionate care.
Johnny will be deeply missed by his family. Memories of our life with him the past 44 years will be with us forever. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Brazos Valley or to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church Pre-School in his name so “Mr. John” can continue to contribute to this program he loved so much.
A service celebrating Johnny’s life will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 1200 Foxfire Drive in College Station on Friday, October 23rd at 1pm.
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