Janie Penney died, at home on her beloved farm, on Friday, February 15. She had fought cancer many years but her strong faith allowed her to always rest assured that she would go to a better place. She is there now.
Janie was born to the Reverend Dr. James T. Johnson and Martha Virginia Cole Johnson and raised in Fuquay-Varina, NC. She attended Hampden Dubose Academy in
Zellwood, Florida (“the best thing about the place was the opportunity to pilfer oranges from the campus orange trees”) and NC State University where she earned a BA in English. She taught school in private and public schools in Wake, Orange, Granville and Franklin counties. Janie is survived by her mother, Virginia Johnson, of High Rock, NC; her husband, Ronald W. Penney, of the home; her daughter, Freda Penney, of the home; her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Brian Johnson; and three wonderful grandsons, Hunter, Cole and Caleb Johnson. She is also survived by her brother, Tommy Johnson; her sister, Dr. Virginia J. Dickens; nine nieces and nephews; and five great nieces and nephews. Janie loved entertaining her grandchildren, nieces and nephews and any other little children around. Most rooms in the old farmhouse had big baskets of toys to root in and even the out-buildings were salted with small toys and treasures, e.g., little rubber men and ancient marbles. Riding with Aunt Janie on the John Deere “Gator” was about as exciting as a little kid could stand (or her husband for that matter).
The family wishes to express much gratitude to Dr. Jeff Crane and the oncology nurses at Rex Hospital; and to the Hospice of Wake County team led by Glenda Grant. We can’t imagine what the journey would have been like without your help. We would also like to thank Ms. Sarah and Mr. Phil. Without your help and support, all the Penney’s would have had to move into a condo in north Raleigh years ago. When the weather turns warmer and the oak leaves are as big as squirrel ears (as Mr. Phil says), the family will have a small memorial service in a church yard down the road from Janie’s ancestral home on the Yadkin River in Davidson County. Her eyes were blue and we loved her. Condolences may be expressed at CremationSocietyNC.com.