Rotterdam - Robert Cooley Penn, 94, passed away on September 30, 2019, at Albany County Nursing Home following a brief illness. He was born on June 5, 1925, in Floral Park, NY, the son of the late Harold Vincent Penn and Dorothy Helena Cooley Penn. A 1943 graduate of Sewanhaka High School, he completed one year at Columbia University before entering the Army in WW II. He was a member of the First Infantry Division (the Big Red One) and served in the European Theater of Operations and occupied Germany. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal. Upon his discharge in 1946, he completed a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1951 and was issued a license to practice architecture in 1955. He worked at several architectural firms in New York City and on Long Island before taking a position with the NYS Department of Health in Albany in 1967. He reviewed and inspected hospitals and nursing homes until his retirement in 1988.
After his return from military service, he married Jean Maria Collins, his wife of 63 years, on September 4, 1948. After retirement, they divided their time between Northville, NY, and Punta Gorda, FL. They enjoyed traveling, especially a tour of Europe with the First Infantry Division, an Alaskan cruise, and several cross country trips. He recently resided at Holiday at the Atrium in Glenville, where he was often seen riding his tricycle around the atrium. Bob had a passion for art and painting. Over the years he painted hundreds of watercolor landscapes and seascapes, many of which are now enjoyed by family and friends.
He was predeceased by his wife Jean (2012), his daughter Janine A. Friebel (2005), and his brother Bruce E. Penn (2019). He is survived by Barbara (Terrence) O'Neill of Duanesburg, Wayne (Susan) Penn of Scotia, and William (Debbie) Friebel of Sewell, NJ, grandchildren James (Rebecca) Penn of Scotia, Elizabeth (Alex) Stern of Brighton, MA, Melissa (Kevin) Cash of Arvada, CO, Kate Penn of Schenectady, Matthew (Carla) Friebel of Levittown, PA, Brian (Rose) Friebel of Levittown, PA, and great-grandchildren Collin Penn, Julia Penn, Anneke Cash and Theo Stern, as well as nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be on Friday, October 4, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 5:00, both at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Ave., Schenectady. Burial will be at the convenience of the family at the Northville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Messiah Lutheran Church, 2850 Guilderland Ave., Schenectady.
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