• 98 years old
  • Born on December 13, 1920 in Tiege, Molotschna Mennonite Colony, Ukraine.
  • Passed away on March 8, 2019 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Born in a humble farmhouse in Tiege, Ukraine, raised on a homestead in Saskatchewan. A career as an educator while also running a company building custom houses. Instrumental in founding Capilano Christian Community Church. Post retirement found success in real estate. Raised a family of 5 (Kenneth, Raymond, Kathy - dec., David and Victor). Loved and lost his first wife Justina and his second wife Carol (Ma) and survived by his beautiful wife of 15 years, Anne. Also leaving behind grandchildren, great grandchildren, an adopted family and many, many others who cherished him. Lived a full life and ready to move on. Missed by all who knew him!

Posted by Sam Sullivan on April 7, 2019
Mr Penner was the Principal of my Elementary School and I sensed his wise and thoughtful leadership that permeated everything we experienced. He created a positive environment for learning and he was respected by all. When I graduated from high school and ended up in hospital I was very moved that he took the time to visit me. A very good man who has affected the lives of so many young people...
Posted by Paddy Ducklow on April 3, 2019
Jacob was my spiritual mentor and "adopted father." He worked to keep me out of trouble when I was a pastor at CapChurch. And we prayed together, as well as drank too much coffee and ate too little chocolate, talked about women, wondered what life or church could be like if... whatever. I will miss him. I have no one to curmudgeon with. And who will watch over the comings and goings of the Horseshoe Bay ferry now?
Posted by Barry Soper on March 28, 2019
For the past 21+ years since meeting Jake through Cap Church, and seeing him weekly at the Cap Church Men's Group every Tues. morning until the end of 2017, when he was no longer well enough to attend, spending time with this fine gentleman has been a great source of joy and inspiration - as an example of how a Christian man carries himself with compassion, dignity, and grace. Moreover, my wife Louise & I are reminded daily of this thoughtful man's desire to 'lift up' others through his gift of a beautifully hand-crafted foot-stool he made for Louise when she commented that she often experiences discomfort when sitting, due to having shorter legs than most. This treasured 'surprise blessing' occupies a place of prominence in our kitchen, where it's practical use reminds us daily of the unbridled generosity of a godly man focused on serving others! We know God is blessing Jake in Heaven, as Jake has blessed so many of us on earth!
Posted by Penny Tonge on March 24, 2019
Mr. Penner lead with compassion and kindness. He provided new beginnings for children who were in crisis and to have a place of belonging and a feeling of caring at school as we had nothing but turmoil in the place we were supposed to call home. On behalf of my brothers and myself, Thank-you. As adults, we now know what he did for us. Our lives may have had a very different outcome without his empowerment to the teachers and down to the children. We were taught to be kind and to always stand up for others that cannot stand up for themselves. We will miss him.  (This was sent to me by Lila Craig(Louie)   She and her brothers were in my class and they came to us after seeing their mother and 3 sisters killed in a hit and run.
Posted by Colleen Coulter on March 22, 2019
I worked at Brock Elementary, when Jake was in his last Principalship. We had a lot of fun with him over the years. One thing I really remember was the ping-pong. We had a table on the stage in the gym, behind the curtain. A group of the staff sometimes played the game to relax during the noon hour. Jake was fiercely competitive, and would always go for the ball. One day, as he did so, he couldn’t stop - and he flew through the curtain and off the stage, to the gym floor below. He wanted to get up, and move again. We insisted on a safety trip by ambulance to be checked out at the hospital. He was fine, somewhat sore, but, trooper that he was, he was back at school the next day. Nothing kept him down.
Posted by Dan Kowal on March 21, 2019
Three years as a beginning teacher at Chief Maquinna was defining for me as to how a school Principal , Jake, could make in allowing a wonderful, student-centered, school culture to develop. Hands off/hands on when needed. He had trust in his teachers to help students grow in all aspects of their lives. Thoughtful, considerate, caring.
Always to be remembered.
Posted by Anne Siegrist Penner on March 21, 2019
Your quiet strength
And steadfast love of God
Gave me the joyful gift to be
Your wife.
Your hands
So strong and skilled
Yet knarled with age and work
Form gifts to God's glory full of
Hands open
With gifts of joy
Hands lifted in praise to God
Hands at peace in the presence
Of Jesus.
Posted by Penny Tonge on March 21, 2019
I taught for Jake (Mr. Penner) twice. Once at Chief Maquinna and once at Norquay. He always made sure I could take my teams and gymnastics clubs to play and perform even in school time. Jake had a way of making it happen. Several of my Maquinna kids have expressed their condolences and recalled what he had done to make school a special place.
Posted by Alvin Unger on March 21, 2019
I always looked forward to the visits to Uncle Jake and Aunt Justina....back in the 50s to mid 60s. Uncle Jake always had time to talk and listen, and he had many interesting stories. My connection to the kids was Ray, who I always admired and looked up to....(he made a ring for my wife in the early 80s) and had many fun “cousin” times together. Karyn and I are traveling and won’t be back in time for the memorial, so we wish God’s presence on the family as you all celebrate a great man.

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