Cover photo for Ruth L. Penn's Obituary
Ruth L. Penn Profile Photo

Ruth L. Penn

January 27, 1936 — July 26, 2023

Atlantic Beach

Ruth L. Penn


A Celebration of Life

Ruth Lillian Johnson Penn

Sunrise January 27, 1936      Sunset July 26, 2023


Saturday, August 5, 2023

Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church

2803 Edgewood Avenue W.

Jacksonville, Florida 32209

Reverend Glenn F. Foreman Jr., Pastor

Reverend Marvin A. McQueen II, Officiating

Interment: Beaches Memorial Park

Life’s Reflection:

Ruth Lillian Johnson Penn was born January 27, 1936 to the late George W. and Elizabeth S. Johnson in Annapolis, Maryland. She attended the local schools in Arundel County Maryland.

Ruth met and married James W. Penn II on April 23, 1958, in Annapolis, Maryland, from this union nine children were born. They relocated to Portsmouth, Virginia due to military transfer. They resided there until early 1965 then again due to military orders they were transferred to Jacksonville, Florida.

Ruth career started in 1968 as a dedicated employee working for the Duval County School Board System in the food service department. There wasn’t a child she didn’t feed. She retired after 25 years of service.

Ruth worked diligently with her children’s school, holding positions of Room Mother and PTA President at Jacksonville Beach Elementary #144.

Ruth was a member of Modern Free Accepted Masons of the World, Inc-Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Free Masonry. She was past Grand Matron of Bright Morning Star Grand Chapter #64, and a member of Sonja Chapter 601B for 48 years.

Ruth was a member and past President of the Ladies Auxiliary at Fleet Reserve #290 since 2007.

Ruth was an advocate for the homeless, often gathering family and friends to go and serve hot meals and provide everyday essentials to all that entered the Mission House on Jacksonville Beach.

Ruth was a faithful member of First Missionary Baptist Church, Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She served on different capacities including the Seniors Choir and Usher.

Her tremendous spirit and loving ways will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents George W. and Elizabeth S. Johnson, husband James W. Penn Jr., 3 brothers Stanley, George and Ronald Johnson, daughter Mona J. Penn and granddaughter LaKevia M. Penn.

Ruth leaves to cherish her memories her children, Roxanne Kennedy (Freddie), Debrah Walker, Guyland Penn, Cornell Penn (Gloria), James Penn III (Barbara), Ronald Penn (Jackie), Valerie Joshway (Gary), Maurice Penn (Jennifer), 25 Grandchildren, 53 Great Grandchildren, 11 Great Great Grandchildern,  Sisters: Beverly Gwynn Winston Salem, NC, Sarah Murray (James) Annapolis, MD, Brother: Albert Johnson (Valeria) Annapolis MD, Sisters in Law: Shirley Penn, Blondell Penn and Julie Oakes Winston Salem NC, Brothers in Law: Walter Penn Suffolk VA, Barry Penn Suffolk VA, Fred Penn, Greg Penn Winston Salem NC., and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. Special thanks to Geralyn Wise, Patricia Daise and Lanita Gadson.

To order memorial trees in memory of Ruth L. Penn, please visit our tree store.

Past Services


Friday, August 4, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Zion Hope Missonary Baptist Church

2803 Edgewood Ave W, Jacksonville, FL 32209

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, August 5, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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