Eleanor Penka will celebrate her 90th birthday on Nov. 25 with a card shower.
Born on Nov. 25, 1922 in Barton County, she is the daughter of Joseph and Mathilda Birzer. She was the 14th child born into a family of 18 children, with 15 of her siblings surviving to adulthood. On May 22, 1946, Eleanor married Victor Penka at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ellinwood. They were married for 55 years until his passing on May 11, 2002. Shortly after their marriage, the Penkas suitcase-farmed before permanently moving to Lane County in 1948 where Eleanor has been a homemaker and continues to live on the farm today. Together they had six children, Lawrence Penka and Eugene Penka, both of Healy, Vicki Menzer and husband Fred of Dillon, Colo., William Penka and wife Joann and Terry Penka, both of Dighton, and Eloise Doran and husband Jim of St. John. She has 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
She has always enjoyed baking, gardening, canning, sewing, crocheting and caring for her family. She is a member the Lane County Red Hat Society and a faithful member of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church and of the Altar Society. In September, as an early birthday celebration, she took part in a two day gathering with five of her sisters, Laura Tinkel of Claflin, Margaret Reichuber of Hoisington, Cecilia Denning of Dodge City, Inez Giessel of Larned, and Bertha Achatz of Ellinwood. They, along with several of their nieces, celebrated all their birthdays with a luncheon and recorded memories of their early childhood.
To share a memory with her cards of congratulations may be sent to her at 201 North Rural Eagle Road, Healy, KS 67850.