Penny Marlene Luttrell, 62
Penny Marlene Luttrell passed away peacefully at Hospice of North Idaho Schneidmiller House in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Sept. 7, 2018, with her sisters, Kay and Ellen, and niece, Tiffany singing a hymn to her that her mother had written 60 years ago. Penny was born in Fowler, Calif., Oct. 20, 1955, to James William Luttrell and Clessie Vivian (Evans) Luttrell. She had a happy childhood living on farms in the San Joaquin Valley of California. When Penny was young, the family moved to the Monterey Peninsula and she lived many years on Rancho San Carlos, in Carmel Valley, as her father managed the ranch.
Penny was a delightful person — loved by everyone she met. Penny was born with Down syndrome, but flourished throughout her life, reading many books (she especially liked Laura Ingalls Wilder), traveling across the United States with her family (she loved Amish country in Pennsylvania) and corresponding with 50 or more pen pals, often mailing as many as five letters a day.
She was tutored from a very young age by her mother, who never doubted her ability to learn, and various tutors who became lifelong friends. She also studied piano. As a teen, Penny was baptized and became a faithful member of the Church of Christ and was very happy to be a Christian for the remainder of her life.
Penny was an example to others of purity, forgiveness and love. Penny was an excellent swimmer — strong and fearless. Penny would babysit in her early adulthood for infants, forming lifelong friendships as they grew. Penny was an honorary member of the California Highway Patrol, receiving the honor on Dec. 18, 1986. She kept her entire family in line after that!
Penny was a graduate of Sanders Academy in Wickenburg, Ariz., where she was taught by her niece, Heather. She graduated complete with diploma, cap and gown and a party afterward. The sight of Penny tossing her mortar board gleefully into the air is a sight her family will never forget. In 1990 Penny moved with her family to Hayden, Idaho, where she would spend the remainder of her life, still in the country. She then became a snowbird with her parents.
Penny is survived by one brother, Gary Luttrell of Modesto, Calif.; three sisters, Noma Byrne of Brownville, Texas, Kay (Bobby) Vaughn of Wickenburg and Ellen Luttrell of the family home in Hayden; sister-in-law, Amber Luttrell of Republic, Wash.; brother-in-law, Rudy Herzog of Rathdrum, Idaho; two aunts, Margaret Luttrell of Clovis, Calif. and Vi Luttrell of Rochelle, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents; her stepmother, Jerolene Luttrell; brother, Tom Luttrell; sister, Pamela Herzog; and sister-in-law, Alice Luttrell.
Her name was Penny but she was priceless. Penny enriched the lives of everyone who knew her.
A visitation and viewing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at Yates Funeral Home–Coeur d’Alene Chapel, 744 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814. Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, at Yates Funeral Home–Coeur d’Alene Chapel with a graveside following at Pinegrove Cemetery, Rathdrum. Please visit Penny’s online memorial and sign her guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.