Barbara Lynn Penner, age 60, of Steinbach, MB, passed away on Friday, September 30, 2022, at Health Science Centre, Winnipeg, MB, where she was surrounded by her immediate family.
Barb grew up in Mitchell with her mom and dad, Sylvia and Peter and three siblings, Eugene, Vicki, and Candace. As a young girl, Barb enjoyed going for sleepovers, a week at a time, to her Schalla grandparents. She would go to work with her grandpa, to the movie theatre, or just spend the afternoon with her grandma watching soaps on TV. She also loved to spend time with Auntie Alice when they lived on the farm. She would sit on the tractor and pretend to drive.
Barb married Richard Unger in 1980. Together they had their three daughters: Charlene (1981), Amanda (1985), and Amy (1987). Though their marriage ended, Barb continued to hold the relationships that were made during this time close to her heart. She continued to be called Auntie Barb by her many nieces and nephews and would connect with her in-laws regularly. She would continue to bring butter soup and deserts to Rick’s parents, Abe and Frances Unger. They would enjoy lengthy visits together until the end of their lives.
Barb, a strong, opinionated, and independent woman, worked hard to raise her girls. She found the love of her life in Myron Penner, and they married in 1996. In Myron, Barb found a life-long partner that would bring balance and calm into a bustling home filled with three busy girls. She knew that she could depend on Myron to always be there with her and for her, through any circumstance.
With a big heart, Barb poured her love into those around her. That love didn’t stop with her family, but overflowed to anyone she met.
She would always ensure that there was a safe, loving place for her family to gather, always with so much delicious food. Her hospitality was unlike any other. She would show her love in gifts, often knitted, crotchet or sewing projects – special for each person. She would make blankets, toques, dolly clothes, laptop bags, mittens for those in need, or whatever the grandkids would request. Each of her kids and grandkids (and anyone else she thought would appreciated it) would receive special blankets that were carefully made with love.
She showed her love also through her time. She always had time for her family – holiday traditions which included family sleepovers, hotel getaways, scavenger hunts, and countless sleepovers with the grandkids, sometimes a week at a time. If she wasn’t spending time with her family, she was likely spending time thinking of or doing things for them. She might be making cakes for birthdays, coming up with craft ideas to do with the kids, visiting on Messenger video chats, or preparing food to share.
She loved to spend time with her friends – whether it was singing karaoke, throwing parties for others, going for coffee, having Bible study, or delivering their babies – her friends meant the world to her.
Barb was known to open her home to others in need. Sometimes that was short term for her children’s friends to finish school or between houses, her nephew for a summer job in Manitoba or another one of daughter’s friends after a devastating house fire. Barb opened her heart to love and her ear to listen, and if needed gave a wise word of advice or just a great joke to make you laugh (even when her daughters cringed at them). Barb made sure that each person that walked through her door was made to feel at home, that remains evident in the fact that she still connected with them long after they moved out.
Barb always took exceptional care of each of the residents in her 25 years at Rest Haven Nursing Home. Trimming beards, braiding hair, or even painting the nails of a resident who wanted to look beautiful when they met Jesus. Barb took the extra time with each person to let them know that they were loved and cared for.
Although your time on earth was cut far too short, we look forward to meeting you again. We’d say we’d bring the coffee but knowing you, you’ll have it (and some goodies) ready for us!
Barb is missed by her best friend and great love, Myron Penner, her daughters; Charlene (Jake) Sacher, Amanda (Alan) Klippenstein and Amy Unger, her grandchildren; Kathryn, Lillian and Madelyn Sacher and Mason and Jade Klippenstein, her dad; Frank Peter Rempel, her mother-in-law; Sara Penner, her siblings; Eugene (Jane) Rempel, Vicki (Mark) Smith and Candace (Joe) Wendt and in-laws; Terry Penner and Darryl (Lisa) Penner and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
She was predeceased by her mother; Sylvia Rempel and father-in-law; Victor Penner.
The livestreamed funeral will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB. A time for connection will happen after the service followed by ash interment at Heritage Cemetery, Steinbach, MB.
A special thank you for the amazing care of the health care workers at Bethesda Hospital and Health Science Centre.