Penny Mary Worms
June 27, 1949 – January 4, 2020
Penny Mary Worms (née Jennings) – never call her by her legal name Penelope ! – was born on June 27th, 1949 in Rochford, Essex, UK. She grew up in various small villages and towns in England depending on where her father was a teacher. After completing three A-levels, in English, French and Latin, she was offered a place at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School. In the end, Penny decided to go to nursing school at Westminster Hospital Nursing School.
While working as a student nurse at Westminster Hospital in 1968, Penny met a young intern named Jean-Manuel Worms. She was reading a book in French that he had left on the ward. They were married in Torquay, Devon, UK on November 22nd, 1969.
In July 1972, Penny and Jean-Manuel emigrated to Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. They moved further west to Brooks, Alberta, Canada in December 1972, where they stayed until 2003. Their daughter Claire was born in 1975 and their son Alex was born in 1977.
Penny was one of the founders of the Brooks Nursery School in 1978. Around 1980, she experienced major vision problems and became a client of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Later on, the CNIB recruited her to help with other clients, particularly those who had recently lost their vision. Penny was such a keen learner that, even though she had major health issues on top of being legally blind, she pursued university courses through the Medicine Hat College, Brooks Campus where she excelled in Philosophy, English and French. She also gave private French lessons. After obtaining her ham radio license, Penny was an active member of the Brooks Ham Radio Club. She helped set up various disaster coordination maneuvers, as well as helped organize the emergency and safety procedures of the Brooks Dinosaur Triathlon.
Penny was an excellent business manager which allowed her husband to retire at the age of 60! Penny and Jean-Manuel retired to Canmore, Alberta, Canada in 2003. Despite enormous health issues, she was able to create and maintain lasting and meaningful relationships through email and phone calls. Penny loved spending time with her family and especially loved being a grandma!
Penny was predeceased by her son Alex. She is survived by her husband Jean-Manuel, daughter Claire (Tomas) Gendron, grand-daughter Sophie, brothers Nick (Viv) Jennings and Peter (Cheryl) Jennings, sister Katie (Jeremy) Pyne, and cousins, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews in Oakville, Ontario, the UK and Australia.
Penny died on January 4th, 2020, and was buried in the Canmore Cemetery. A celebration of Penny’s life will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 19, 2020, at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club. Instead of flowers, please consider a donation, in her memory, to the CNIB, her favorite longtime charity (1-800-563-2642), or to the sea otters (through the World Wildlife Fund), a recent passion of Penny’s.
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