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Donald Lee Penka 1935 - 2021
Donald Lee Penka  1935 - 2021
Donald Lee Penka 1935 - 2021

Donald Lee Penka, 85, died August 10, 2021, at Medicalodges of Great Bend.  He was born October 11, 1935, in Larned, to John and Mary Hazel (Simmons) Penka. Don married Lilly Dreiling Nov. 25, 1963, in Garden City.   

Don, a resident of Great Bend since 1963 coming from Garden City, was employed as a clerk supervisor for Dillons and later worked for Werth’s Plumbing and as a custodian for U.S.D. 428, retiring in 1998.   He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus Council #862, and a current member of Prince of Peace Parish at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church where he faithfully served as a homebound Eucharistic Minister.  In his younger years, Don served the youth of the community as a bowling coach, and in his retirement he enjoyed woodworking and enthusiastically followed his grandchildren’s activities.  Don proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956.

Survivors include his wife Lilly Penka, of the home; one son, Matt Penka and his wife Christi of Great Bend; two daughters, Michele Smith and husband Delbert of Topeka, and Melissa Sides of Hutchinson; and seven grandchildren, Lauren Penka, Blake Penka, Dru Penka, Sarah Smith, Samantha Smith, Ashley Sides and Braden Sides. 

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Marcene Penka; two brothers, Norman Penka and Elvin Penka; three sisters, Valetta Stroble, Cleta Jackson and Ellen Jo Penka.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday August 14, 2021, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Great Bend, with Father Prakash Kola presiding.  Interment will be in Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend.  Visitation will be 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday, August 13  at Bryant Funeral Home, with a Vigil at 7:30 p.m.  Memorials may be given to Sully’s Foundation for Epilepsy Research and Education (SFERE) or Kans for Kids, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS 67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Aug. 11, 2021