Forrest Edward Penney


Forrest Edward Penney, Jr., 71, of Gonzales, passed away Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Forrest was born March 23, 1947 in DeQueen, Ark. to Forrest Edward Penney, Sr. and Margaret Ann Wallace Penney. Forrest married Sue Ann Payton on April 6, 1968 in Ft. Worth. Forrest was a member of the First Methodist Church where he served as a trustee and district trustee. He served as president and secretary of Gonzales Independence Homes since 1994 and had been a member of the Gonzales Rotary Club, serving as its president in 1997. He was also a Paul Harris Fellow. Finally, Forrest had served on the Gonzales library board since 1995.

Forrest was born in DeQueen and moved with his family to Daingerfield when he started school. Forrest graduated from Daingerfield High School with the Class of 1965 where he started for the varsity football team. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout. After high school, Forrest entered the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in May of 1969. He received his commission through the Air Force ROTC.

Forrest reported for active duty at Randolph AFB for flight training. He qualified in the F-4 Phantom and was assigned to Da Nang AB, Vietnam. He flew 226 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After Vietnam he was assigned to fly the F-111 at Canon AFB, NM. He flew the F-111 for four years at RAF Upper Heyford, UK. In returning to the United States he was given an exchange tour with the U.S. Navy flying the A-6 Intruder. After qualifying, he served aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets. He later served at Headquarters Tactical Air Command for three years and ended his military career flying the F-111 and retiring in 1989 with 20 years of honorable service.

Forrest graduated with a Master of Public Administration degree in 1983 while on active duty and followed with law school after retirement. He graduated from Texas Tech School of Law in 1992 and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas that same year. Forrest began practicing law in Gonzales in 1993.

Forrest was a kind and loving man. He treasured his family. He enjoyed two very different careers, 20 years of flying jets in the Air Force and over 20 years as an attorney in Gonzales.

Forrest loved to learn new things. He read and studied constantly. His family teased that he had a “vast array of useless knowledge.” He even went to California once to take the “Jeopardy” test. He passed it but was never chosen as a contestant. Forest enjoyed solving puzzles and mysteries. He was an excellent cook and enjoyed trying new recipes and buying new gadgets for the kitchen. He enjoyed all sports, especially any event the Texas Longhorns were competing in and Forrest could quote many team statistics.

Forrest loved his pets. He used to take his Basset hound “Bubba” to get the Saturday morning newspaper. He said “Bubba, always attracted the pretty girls.” His dachshund “Mattie,” loved getting on his chest and howling. His granddaughters called it, “granddaddy and Mattie doing their howling thing.” Forrest and his loving wife, Sue, enjoyed being together. They considered each other their favorite companions, a choice ratified by 50 years of marriage.

Forrest is survived by his adoring family, wife, Sue Payton Penney of Gonzales; daughter and son-in-law, Susan Lorraine “Lori” Sandefur and Brad of Lubbock; son, and daughter-in-law, James Forrest Penney and Lori of Ft. Worth; sisters, Karen Wallace Williams of Texarkana and Sara Horton and husband Louis of Grand Prairie; and grandchildren, Allison Lorraine Sandefur, Britney Lynn Sandefur, Brenden James Penney and his beloved Mattie, the red dachshund. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Danny Williams.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, June 18 in the First Methodist Church with Pastor Matt Pennington officiating. Interment will follow in Gonzales Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 12 – 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, the American Cancer Society, the VFW Post 4817 or the charity of one’s choice.

Friends may leave their condolences by visiting Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.