Floral 09

Helen B. "Penny" Markgraff

February 11, 1926 ~ April 10, 2021 (age 95)


Helen B. “Penny” Markgraff, 95 of Whitewater (formally of Jefferson), died on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at Fort Memorial Hospital.

Penny was born on February 11, 1926 in Lowes, KY, the daughter of Alton and Laura (Draper) Pennebaker.  She, along with her sister Rita, were raised in Lowes, KY and on October 18, 1945, married William Markgraff in Lowes.  The couple had 2 sons and enjoyed 53 years of marriage until his death in 1999.  Bill was stationed in Murray, KY and met Penny at “The Hut”, a local hangout at Murray State where Penny was a student. Once Bill was discharged from the service, he and Penny boarded a train and headed north in December of 1945. They returned to Bill’s hometown which became Penny’s home for 76 years.

Penny wanted to be a nurse, but at 17 years old was too young to apply to the program. Since there was a shortage of teachers during WWII, she took a short course in elementary education and taught for one year. She said teaching was “not her cup of tea” and just hoped the students learned something from her. Penny went on to work for 34 years as a medical receptionist retiring in 1999 as an ER receptionist at Fort Memorial Hospital.  Penny was a talented knitter, enjoyed playing bridge, golfing, fishing, traveling, talking with friends, and shopping. She volunteered for various organizations and was an active member of Immanuel United Methodist Church of Jefferson for over 70 years. Penny was loving, caring, candid, resilient, ardent, unstoppable, and made friends wherever she was.  She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

She is survived by: her son David (Deb Wexler) Markgraff of Damascus, OR; grandchildren Jason (Jessica Duncan) Markgraff, Paul (Beth) Markgraff, Sara (Kale) Strohbusch, Tyler (Thea) Markgraff, and Alex (Mary Grace Roselli) Markgraff; 4 great-grandchildren Maci, Jackson, Lena, and Eliza.  Penny is also survived by a number of other relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, son Michael (2015), and siblings Rita Shelby and Billy Harold Pennebaker (in infancy).

In lieu of flowers, donations in Penny’s name can be made to Immanuel United Methodist Church of Jefferson.

A family graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Rock River Cemetery of Jefferson with Rev. Kellen Roggenbuck presiding.  A celebration of Penny’s life will be held at Immanuel United Methodist Church of Jefferson in the Summer of 2021.

Penny’s graveside service will be livestreamed on the Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home Facebook page.  Please see https://www.facebook.com/olsengibson at the time of service.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen B. "Penny" Markgraff, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
April 17, 2021

11:00 AM
Rock River Cemetery

Jefferson, WI

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