Randolph Paul Penn - June 3rd, 1949 – September 3rd, 2020.
Randy was born on June 3rd, 1949 to parents Louise Lorraine and Finn Edwin Penn in Colby, Kansas. The family moved to Englewood Colorado in 1955. Randy attended Maddox Elementary, Sinclair Junior High and graduated from Englewood High School in 1967. During those years he developed lifelong friendships with several people that continued to be a part of his life. He began his college career in Greeley at the University of Northern Colorado. He was there for 2 years before returning to Englewood working in retail. He met his wife Debbie at Cinderella City where he managed the Pet Store. Debbie was often at the pet store buying supplies for pets she didn’t have just to see him. They were married in 1971 and began their memorable journey together. They bought their first and only home in Englewood where they still reside. They were blessed with their first daughter, Marcy and a few years later daughter, Kelly. Randy soon resumed his college education, enrolling at Metro State College. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and would later return to UNC to complete his master’s degree. Randy did his student teaching in the Cherry Creek School District and started coaching football with Coach Fred Tesone. Coach Tesone brought football knowledge to Randy but also reinforced the need to be a man of principal and how important it was to be a good role model for kids and coaches. His first teaching position in 1981 was a PE teacher at Maddox Elementary School, the same school he attended as a child. Randy also began coaching wrestling at EHS while at Maddox. Debbie and the 2 daughters would travel with the team wherever they went, sitting in the bleachers all day just so they could be with their dad. Marcy and Kelly soon had many “brothers” to cheer for and established their love of the Pirates. In 1985, youngest daughter Megan was born. Randy moved to EHS in 1987, starting his coaching legacy with the Pirates. He coached wrestling, cross country, girls swimming and football. Coaching football was his passion as was Debbie’s who grew up in Texas where football was a religion. He loved the game, the challenges, the rival coaches and of course the kids. In 1988 he became the head football coach, starting with only 18 kids for the entire football program. He told the kids to work hard, never leave anything on the field, learn from your mistakes and be supportive of your teammates. The team was 0-22 before they won their first game in Woodland Park. Debbie was the chaperone for the spirit bus that night and it was rocking and cheering all the way back to Englewood. They were 4-6 that year, by 1993 they were 9-2 and the Pirates began a long tradition of winning seasons and playoff appearances. Randy’s family never missed a game and at home games you would find the Penn clan sitting right under the press box and cheering loudly. The Thursday night question was always “dad, are we going to win?” response was always “if we score more points!” Football was family time, we all participated and of course provided our own feedback on how the game was played, and we were a tough crew. During these years Randy and Debbie were blessed with 3 grandchildren, Bryce (Marcy), Hayden (Marcy) and Sydney (Kelly). The grandchildren all attended Englewood Schools and soon began their own athletic careers as Pirates. This was one of Randy’s proudest moments, having his grandchildren doing what they loved and carrying on the Penn legacy. He loved coaching his children, grandkids and nephews. It truly was a family experience.
In 2008, Randy retired from EHS. During the next few years Randy and Debbie were blessed with 4 more grandchildren Madelyn (Megan), Kyle (Kelly), Brody (Kelly) and Maycee (Megan). These new little people brought new love and laughter to the family gatherings. Randy wasn’t done giving back and started his career with the City of Englewood, becoming the Executive Director of the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, and then running for a seat on City Council which he easily won and was selected as the Mayor of Englewood, a position he held for 4 years. He loved being the Mayor, he wanted to make Englewood the very best it could be, wanting to give back to the place he had called home for most of his life. After leaving as Mayor, he returned as the Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce serving until 2019 when he officially retired.
Randy never met a stranger; he could and would talk forever, often being teased “don’t give Randy the mic because we’ll never get out of here”. He knew everyone; well his grandchildren certainly thought he did. Randy loved the Pirate family, athletes he coached, students he taught, fellow teachers and coaches, and everyone he met along the way. He so wanted to have a positive impact on young people and help prepare them for their future.
Randy is survived by his wife, Debbie, daughters Marcy. Kelly (Matt) and Megan (Mike), grandchildren: Bryce, Hayden, Sydney, Madelyn, Kyle, Brody and Maycee. Sister Nancy (Frank) and several nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his mother, father and brothers, Ed and Frank.
Losing Randy has left a massive hole in our hearts and lives. That being said we have been so blessed to have had him in our lives, sharing all the fun and crazy moments we have had as a family; family vacations, fishing trips (really competitions), Nascar races, 4th of July at Belleview Park, his iris garden, homecoming events, Christmas decorating and bake day, doggie daycare, birthday parties, zip lining, scuba diving, Breckenridge trips, watching football and discussing whose team was better, Broncos or Cowboys, wrestling in the pool, holiday parades, the many college and bowl games attended, really anything that brought us together as a family. One of Debbie’s friends once asked her if she and Randy ever did anything by themselves and her response was “we always do everything as a family, it’s who we are”.
We would like to thank each of you for the outpouring of love and prayers we have received. Randy’s legacy is alive in each of you and we have been touched by how many people have been impacted by him in such a positive way. In lieu of flowers we are asking that you contribute to the Randy Penn Memorial Scholarship Fund we have established for a student athlete at EHS. We hope to provide a scholarship to a student for years to come. We are tentatively planning a celebration of life in the spring of 2021.
Please go to Randy Penn’s GoFundMe page to donate to the scholarship.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Randy Penn, please visit our floral store.