- 25 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 6, 1983
- Date of passing: Oct 16, 2008
|Let the memory of John be with us forever|
Sgt. John M. Penich, 25, of Beach Park, Illinois. A 2001 honors graduate of Zion-Benton Township High School, he enjoyed being outdoors, hunting, mountain biking, four-wheeling and playing paintball. He was set to spend a year in Germany after graduating, but after wittnessing the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks on television, he returned home. He went to work in hotel administration. John was a very giving person, always putting others and his country before himself. He joined the Army in 2006 and was currently assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas. In 2007, John was awarded the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Soldier of the Year Award. His other awards include the Bronze Star with Valor and Single Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman Badge, and had been recommended for the Silver Star. When people asked him what to send him in care-packages while deployed, John never wanted anything for himself, he always had a list of things his fellow soldiers needed. He had wanted to become an Army Ranger, but a broken foot stopped that. He deployed to Afghanistan in July of 2008 and died in Karangol Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from indirect fire. John is survived by his mother, Kathy ("Dad" Mike) Garross; father, James (Diane) Penich; brothers, Jimmy (Michelle) Penich and Jeff (Nicole) Penich; sister, Crystal (Pete) Barrett; grandparents, Donald (Pat) Weidner and Roger (Barbara) Garross; great-grandmother, Mary Hall; nieces and nephews, Autumn Long, Bryce and Eva Barrett, and Hailey and Hunter Penich, and the love of his life, Sarah Kelley. Also surviving are other family, including, Jill Garross, Kim Zabresky, Kim (Chris) Van Beek, Clarissa Van Beek, Dan (Denise) Garross, Cassie and Chloe Garross, Denise (Dave) Balmes, Allie Balmes , Ray Caddell, Michael (Mary) Penich, Michael (Abbey) Penich, Tim Penich; dear friend, Mikey Kitch; and countless other friends and comrades. He was preceded in death by grandparents, Elaine Weidner, Michael Penich, Sr. and Jennie Penich; and great-grandparents, Katherine Garross and Ned Hall; and great-great-grandmother, Eva Gallup.
"I love and miss you uncle Johnny !!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
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