Merylee Pennybacker

Merylee Virginia Brown Pennybacker, age 96, of Southgate, Michigan, passed away on Good Friday, April 18, 2014, surrounded by members of her family.

Born March 3, 1918, at home on the family farm in Arbovale, she was the first of seven children born to the late Roscoe and Clara Hudson Brown. Her father was a Pocahontas County Sheriff, a land surveyor, and served on the Board of Education. Her mother was a housewife, and an excellent cook and seamstress, talents which she passed on to Merylee.

Merylee attended school in Green Bank and worked for schools in Pocahontas County. On March 28, 1926, she married Samuel Pennybacker, of Frost, and they moved to Michigan. When Sam served in the Marine Corp during World War II Merylee returned to West Virginia to help run the family farm. They moved back to Michigan when Sam returned home from the war and raised five children.

Merylee was an accomplished cook and won a recipe contest for her El Birdo Monterey, still a family favorite. She enjoyed writing poetry. Her poems were often whimsical and cheerful. She was a 44 year breast cancer survivor.

In 2013, she was the team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Walk for Breast Cancer; she participated in the walk with her team.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband; her dear daughters, Rebecca and Barbara and husband, Al Weiner; brothers and sisters, Layke Brown, and wife, Alma, Bessie Dickson, and husband, C.F., Ethel “Bunnie”, and husband, Chuck Higgins, Robert Brown, and wife, Elaine, and an infant sister, Bettie Brown.

She is survived by her loving children, Ralph, and wife, Barbara, Thomas, and wife, Eunice, and David, and wife, Sue; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; brother, John Brown, and wife, Dot; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and close neighbors and friends who all loved her dearly and welcomed her sage advice.

Her long life was truly a blessing to us all and we will continue to miss her every day.

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