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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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PENNER, Esther

September 23, 1936 – Rosenfeld, Manitoba
March 10, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Esther Penner of Calgary, AB, Mom of Tom, Randy, and Roseanne, died on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at the age of 82. She had more lives than a cat but even those had to run out eventually.

When Esther Penner was born into a large Mennonite family in a one room farmhouse in Rosenfeld, MB, on September 23, 1936, who would have thought that she would become the greatest pie baker of all time. Her baking skills also extended to buns (white buns if you please. None of that whole wheat garbage!) Our Mom was happiest in the kitchen with flour scattered on the front of her skirt sharing her baking treats with her family.

Esther is survived by her three children, Tom, Randy (Joanna Szajer), and Roseanne (Bob Betteridge); five grandchildren, Michelle, Brittany (Josh Hillier), Oliver, Lewis, and Lorenzo; three great-grandchildren, Jase, Emmett, and Gunner; two sisters, Teenie Funk and Helen Nickel; also numerous nephews and nieces.

Esther was predeceased by many siblings but most importantly by her husband Abe, whom she would tell you until her dying breath was the most amazing husband in the world.

We will not be having a funeral service but we invite you, in your own time, to cut yourself a generous piece of pie (banana cream was one of her specialties) and remember our Mom. Condolences may be forwarded through

We would like to extend our gratitude to the amazing staff at Chartwell Eau Claire. My Mom loved to brag about how the staff there spoiled her rotten.

In living memory of Esther Penner, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, CALGARY, AB, T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. I like to think that she has just gone full-time at the Medicine Hat Superstore. I certainly wouldn’t put it past her. Love to you all as you remember this remarkable lady.

    Our deepest sympathy,
    Leslie, Trevor, Bennett and Kennedy

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  2. Very sorry to hear about the loss of your Mom and Gramma, Roseanne and the whole family. You will not be able to eat another piece of pie without remembering her! Quite a legacy! I wish I had met her… she sound like a wonderful person!

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  3. Karen & Ed Hume

    Even though she lived a lot of her life in AB, my memories are from her time in MB. I know she will be missed because wherever she went she always had a welcoming smile. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you all as another chapter in your lives has come to an end.

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  4. Carol and Colin Penner

    Our condolences to the friends and family. Aunt Esther will be very missed.

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  5. Rachel & Tony Colabella and family

    So sorry for your loss Rosie – to you Bob, Oliver, Lewis and everyone else in your family. Sounds like she was an amazing person and I would love to have a piece of her pie in her honor. She raised an amazing daughter and I am privileged to know you. Moms and grandmas are amazing individuals – treasure all the wonderful memories. All our love and condolences.

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  6. Diana Tokarchuk

    I really am sad. We are fast becoming the end generation as all of our parents die. Even though we are adults, it still feels a bit like being an orphan. We appreciate the efforts the family has made in the past few years to bring Aunt Esther to Manitoba for family gatherings. We will dearly miss her. Hope that you keep in touch and come to our gatherings when you can. Love and peace to you all, Diana (your cousin)

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  7. Brenda Leeds Binder

    I’m very sorry for your loss Rosie. The tribute to your Mom was wonderfully written – I never knew her, but she sounds fun and I can see where you get your spark! Sending you lots of love in my thoughts and prayers. Looking forward to seeing you soon and hearing some of your favourite memories!

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  8. Ed and Pat Penner

    Our condolences to you, Tom, Randy and Roseanne and families.
    The past few years when I called Esther she met her life challenges with cheerfulness and thankfulness.
    One memory: When |I first met Esther |I called her Miss Friesen – she was my grade 2 and 3 teacher. when she became my sister-in-law a few years later I found it really hard to call her Esther. When we got married, Esther gave me my grade 3 essay scribbler that she had kept all those years! We have shared many good times together!

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  9. Kathie Klassen (Husband John)

    I have two fond memories of Aunt Esther, one would have been in the small house on a small lake near Keewatin, Ontario, in 1969. After swimming with my cousins, I pinned my swim suit on the clothes line to dry, only to have a squirrel steal my bottoms. Aunt Esther made me some sort of bottoms from some cloth so I could go swimming the next day. the second would have been back in 1979. She came up with Uncle Abe to Manitoba and decided to stay longer and visit more. I was not working that August, and I spontaneously decided to go on a road trip and take Auntie Esther home….all the way back to Alberta. I drove the whole way in my brand new car, stopping in Saskatoon, to visit with Esther’s brother, my Uncle Henry. passed away, but never forgotten!

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  10. Dear Roseanne–Tom and Randy– Sorry about your loss. Your mother was not only my sister-in-law —-but also a good friend. We shared many special times together. . Just remember–she loved you very much.

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