The Albert Pennington Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at the Beckley Area Foundation by his daughter, Rebecca Pennington Absher, and her husband, David.

Albert Pennington was a Fayette County educator, born July 13, 1928, the youngest of 14 children. His parents were Howard and Ruth Pennington of Lansing. He was a graduate of Ansted High School and attended West Virginia Tech. After serving in the U.S. Army in the Korean War, he graduated from Concord College and received his Master’s degree from Marshall University College of Graduate Studies.

He taught and served as principal at Glendale, Layland, Danese and Divide elementary schools. He also taught adult basic education classes for many years.

Pennington was a former Boy Scout leader, receiving the prestigious Silver Beaver Award. He was instrumental in organizing several scout troops.

He was a member of Sturgeon Branch Baptist Church, Rainelle, the Masonic Lodge, Danese, and the Order of Eastern Star Chapter 135 at Danese. He enjoyed his participation in the Beckley Calico and Jeans Square Dance Club.

His most passionate hobby during the last two decades was that of being a master beekeeper. Never missing an opportunity to educate people about the fascinating work of honeybees, he and his wife June sold many jars of honey from their home.

“My dad was always a teacher, always educating anyone who would listen on a variety of subjects — hunting, fishing beekeeeping, his love of the land, apple tree grafting, farming and music,” noted his daughter Rebecca. “That is why this scholarship is so exciting for my family. Dad’s love of education will go on forever. It has been a very comforting and healing process to see donations come in from his many friends, former students, co-workers and family.”

Pennignton began teaching in one-room schools where he had to arrive early to build a fire in the pot-bellied stove, and later stoke the coal furnaces of the larger schools. He was adamant that students have hot lunches, he loved handwriting contests and he took time to listen to students recite multiplication tables.

“It is appropriate that the annual net income from this fund be used for a scholarship for a graduate of a Fayette County high school attending Concord University and majoring in education,” commented Dena Cushman, director of BAF scholarship programs. “This is a fitting tribute to an outstanding educator who loved the people and schools of Fayette County.”

Kristi Absher Mullenax, his granddaughter, was awarded a BAF scholarship when she graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1995. A graduate of WVU with Master’s degrees in education and reading, she is now a teaching coach and literacy coordinator in Monongalia County, continuing the tradition of education in her family.

“I believe a person may get only a few opportunities in life to affect other lives for good, forever. My father positively affected many lives during his lifetime. I hope to continue his good works by providing students with educational opportunities through this memorial scholarship,” explained his daughter.

Albert Pennington passed away Feb. 27, 2005, leaving in addition to his daughter, his wife of 54 years, June Smith Pennington of Danese; three sons, Denton, Michael and Timothy Pennignton; five grandchildren, Kristi Mulleanax, Shane Absher, Tonya, Ryan and Colby Pennington; and a sister, Elsie Syner.

Anyone may make memorial contributions in any amount to the BAF Albert Pennington Memorial Scholarship Fund. Mail to BAF, 129 Main St., Suite 203, Beckley, WV 25801. The family will be notified of all gifts without reference to the amount.

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