School 04

Penny (Simnick) McNellis

July 17, 1942 ~ January 9, 2020 (age 77)


It is with great sadness to announce that Penelope Elaine McNellis (Penny), 77, of Paw Paw, MI passed away on January 9, 2020 after being hospitalized for an illness which led to lung damage and complications.

Penny was born in Vincennes, Indiana and was raised by her father, Bill and her mother, Yvonne.  She graduated from Vincennes University and Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education.

Penny's love of teaching began as a Kindergarten teacher in Hartford, MI.  She later taught 3rd and 1st grade in Bangor and Paw Paw.  She was a much loved and adored Elementary teacher for 34 years.  Sparking the love of reading in her 1st graders brought her the most joy.  Throughout her life she had many students stop her to tell her how much she influenced them.

Penny and her family enjoyed trips along the coast of Lake Michigan in the summer.  She loved to travel, with memorable trips made to the UK, Ireland, Canada and Alaska.  She would come back with educational souvenirs, books and stories to share with her 1st graders.  Later in life she enjoyed going on Road Scholars trips to California, New Orleans and states on the East coast.  Reading mystery books curled up on the couch, spending time with family & friends, being involved in the Red Hats, attending events at the library and shopping were some of her favorite things to do. 

We love and will miss her dearly!

A memorial service will be held at Adams Funeral Home, 502 West Michigan Ave., Paw Paw, on February 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm. Visitors are welcome to come at 11 am.

There will be a luncheon to celebrate her life afterwards at La Cantina Restaurant in Paw Paw.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the following organizations in her memory:

National Shrine of St. Jude

205 W. Monroe Street

Chicago, IL  60606


The Paw Paw District Library

609 W. Michigan Avenue

Paw Paw, MI  49079



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Penny (Simnick) McNellis, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
February 22, 2020

12:00 PM
Adams Funeral Home
502 West Michigan Avenue
Paw Paw, MI 49079


Paw Paw District Library
609 West Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw MI 49079

National Shrine of St. Jude
205 W. Monroe Street, Chicago IL 60606

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