Serving the community since 1970

Shafter loses another gentleman

Art Penner, 1925-2020


Shafter has a rich history, with founding families putting down roots and creating a city that has flourished into one of the most financially sound cities in the state.

Shafter lost one of the true pioneers in Shafter with the passing of Art Penner. Penner was a true gentleman who loved his family, his God and a large number of friends. A local farmer who was also a cultured man, who loved the joy of the first spring and freshly plowed earth, but also loved a great piece of classical music being performed, such as the music made by his son Stephen as a conductor.

Penner was born in 1925 in Shafter, just a year after his family moved to Shafter from Canada. He attended Wasco and Shafter schools, ultimately graduating from Shafter High.

Penner was strong in his faith, evidenced by his stance during World War II when he was a conscientious objector. Instead of serving in the war, Penner put his efforts into various roles, including fighting forest fires and working in a tuberculosis hospital. Penner married the love of his life in 1947. He and Donna raised a family, served faithfully in their church, as well as traveled around the country.

Penner started his farm in 1949 and through the years he had grown potatoes, cottone, tomatoes, sugar beets, beans, walnuts and almonds. Penner was known as an honest man with integrity, compassion, and generosity, which he also put into practice in his work.

Penner will be missed not only by his loving family, but a host of friends, and a community that realizes how important and rare true gentlemen are.


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