Clarence Ray Pennington 1937-2022 “CR” (Baby Ray) was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1937 and passed away on Thursday, November 17th, and went to his heavenly home in the arms of Jesus. He was a great Christian man who loved Jesus.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Ray Pennington Sr. and Bessie Irene Pennington. Also preceded in death were his Aunt Gladys (Forrester) and two close cousins (that all grew up together), Ronald Cox and Bob McClure, and other close family members, aunts and uncles and cousins.
CR ( “A-Paw”) is survived by his wife, Joyce Eaton Pennington, and sons, Brad Pennington and spouse Tracy Melendez, Doug Pennington and spouse Gina Goodson; grandchildren, Brittany Pennington Dolotina and spouse Jordan Dolotina, Coleman Ray Pennington and Kylee Goodson, and Sami Selby; great grandchildren, Jackson Dolotina and Mackenzie Dolotina. He is also survived by close cousins, Janis Pennington Bell, Cindy Pennington Murphey, James Pennington and Carol Cox. He is also survived by his ADTS family as well as an endless list of close friends (who are like family to all of us, and you know who you are!) and Salado neighbors.
CR graduated from Forrest Avenue High School in 1955, went on to North Texas State Teachers College (University of North Texas) and was in Pi Kapp Alpha fraternity and graduated with a degree in business in 1959. CR had many funny stories about college and antics that could easily play out in a movie that would upstage “Animal House”. Many of his friends greeted him at the pearly gates but others have remained lifetime friends.
He went on the serve in the Air Force reserves, and yet again, more funny stories he has told about he and his friends while in the reserves. He was a claims adjuster, clothing salesman, clothing manufacturer, and once owned 18 retail clothing stores. In 1982, CR was in full support of Joyce stepping away from teaching high school to being an executive for American Dance/Drill Team. They agreed to purchase the company after Miss Gussie Nell Davis and Dr. Irving Dreibrodt asked them to carry on their legacy of being the first company of its kind in the country. CR stepped away from the clothing business to help full time with American Dance/Drill Team.
He and Joyce met in the fall of 1972 when she was a high school teacher and drill team director at Denison High School. They were introduced by his lifetime best friend, Gary Ortmeier and, his girlfriend at the time, Linda Peek, who was Joyce’s roommate in college. As thing progressed quickly, they decided they were meant to be together and married on March 3, 1973, and Joyce became a second mom to Brad and Doug. CR and Joyce had big hopes of having a 50th anniversary celebration in March of 2023. It was a glorious lifetime of joy, working together in the dance/drill team industry, traveling the world and enjoying a great family.
When the news of his death was announced on social media, there was over 1,000 posts within 24 hours from people who loved and admired him. Most of the comments were about his great sense of humor, his beautiful smile, his kind and giving heart and his love for his wife and family. They said they always looked forward to his stories that kept them inspired and many said he was a father figure to them. Many others said that they learned so much about integrity, generosity, respect and love, and that he always made them feel special.
Our family is grieving for the loss of this great man, but are comforted to know that he is at his heavenly home and embracing friends and relatives that have gone before him.
His Celebration of Life will be on Sunday, December 4th, from 2:00 to 4:00pm at Jack’s Barn at Weatherstone in Salado, Texas. We are requesting no flowers but, if you choose, can donate in his name to his three favorite charities: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Wounded Warriors Or, Tunnels to Towers
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