Mettie Penzel

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mettie Penzel

Mettie Jane Penzel, 100, of Jackson passed away Saturday, April 19, 2008, at Chateau Girardeau in Cape Girardeau.

She was born May 18, 1907, in Cape Girardeau County, daughter of Marion N. and Minnie Mae Hahn Killian. She and Carl L. Penzel were married April 19, 1931. He passed away July 4, 2000.

In 1927, Mettie graduated from Jackson High School and was nominated for Silver Arrow Homecoming Queen. Sometime after graduation, she attended the former Normal School in Cape Girardeau where she obtained her teaching certificate. She then started teaching at the McFerron School for some time. Mettie was the first woman to run for the Jackson City Council, she was an active member of Jackson Garden Club and she helped to start the Men's Garden Club in Jackson. She was sports-minded and was an avid bowler for many years. She worked as a bookkeeper for the family-owned business, Penzel Construction, for many years.

Together, Carl and Mettie were well known for their establishment of Pinecrest Azalea Gardens. This garden is located between Millersville and Oak Ridge. With Carl and Mettie's work and dedication together, Pinecrest Azalea Gardens was acclaimed by the Indiana Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society as being the largest in the Midwest and won the 2007 Governor's Spotlight Award. In 1999, Carl and she moved to the Chateau Girardeau in Cape Girardeau. She was known at the Chateau Girardeau for her sense of humor and her snow-white hair. Mettie was a member of Emanuel United Church of Christ in Jackson.

Loving survivors include her twins, son Carl Gene (Linda) Penzel of Jackson, Carol Jane (Ray) Penzel Hebenstreit of St. Louis; a sister, Doshie (Charles) Holmes of West Plains, Mo.; and a brother, Hubert (Modean) Killian of Wentzville, Mo. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Philip (Sandy) Penzel of Jackson, Chris (Chastity) Penzel of Cape Girardeau and Melody Ellington of St. Louis; five great-grandchildren, Ashley Basham of St. Louis; Andrea and Allison Penzel of Jackson, Conner and Courtney Penzel of Cape Girardeau; and a great-great-grandson, Hunter Basham.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 69 years; a twin brother and sister, Annie and Willie; sisters, Gracie Abernathy, Polly Emmons; brothers, Paul, Niel, Carl, Nathanial and Floyd Killian; and a granddaughter, Vickie Greifzu.

Pallbearers will be Penzel Construction Co. employees Paul Koeper, Howard Hemmann, DeWayne Mabry, David Mirgeaux, Rob Moore and Dave Conrad.

Honorary pallbearers are Gerald Hitt, Calvin Sailer, Cecil McGuire, Gus Coomer, Melvin Hoffman, Mick Gosche, Kenny Borgfield and Dick Wood. All are retired Penzel Construction employees.

Friends may call from 4:30 to 8 p.m. today at McCombs Funeral Home in Jackson.

The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, 2008, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Sam Roethemeyer officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of contribution to Emanuel United Church of Christ, 304 E. Adams St., Jackson, Missouri 63755.

Online condolence may be sent to the family at