Robert L. Penton 99, born on November 27, 1920, attributed his long life to a pact made by five very young grammar school boys “to never smoke”. Their reason, so they could become airplane pilots. That came to pass several years later. Three became military pilots during World War II. Sheridan Harrod, Robert’s lifelong friend and Robert learned to fly as civilian pilots. Robert first soloed when 53.
Robert passed away November 30, 2019. He was predeceased by his high school sweetheart and wife of 66 years, Virginia Lasley Penton. He is survived by his daughter, Vicki Russell and her husband Bob of Arlington, Texas; a granddaughter, Penny Sharp, her husband, Kevin, and two great-grandchildren of Celina, Texas; sister in-law, Georgia Bobo and nephew Jim Bobo; niece, Julie Bobo-Shisler and her husband Scott; brother-in-law, Jack Lasley and a host of other family and friends.
Robert was raised in the Pulaski Heights area. He graduated from Little Rock High School in 1938.
Robert was in the Navy aboard supply ships, Pacific theatre until the wars end. In 1986, Robert joined the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the Air Force. With 26 years of service, he retired December 31, 2012 from CAP as a Lt. Col, Mission Check Pilot, with two Life Saving Certificates.
Robert took up flying as a hobby in 1973. He earned his Private, Commercial, and Instrument ratings. His flying was for personal fun and pleasure, plus the CAP activities. His extended excursions covered the breath of the Rockies, where he took mountain flying training, and New York to Key West and all areas between. Robert had over 6000 hours in N412HM, his Mooney, and accumulated over 10,000 hours when he grounded himself in 2012 at 91.
There will be a private family grave side service before the memorial service. The memorial service to follow at Park Hill Christian Church, 4400 JFK, NLR, beginning 11:00 am, Wednesday, December 4th, 2019. Reverend Joe Hodges, pastor of Park Hill Christian Church, will conduct the service, where Robert was the last living Charter Member.
The family lives out of town and requests, no flowers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Park Hill Christian Church, 4400 JFK Blvd., North Little Rock, AR 72116, or Civil Air Patrol, 2201 Crisp Drive, Little Rock, AR. 72202.
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