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Obsequies of Herbert L. Pennyman. Born October 5, 1962 - Died July 22, 2021
Herbert Pennyman was born on October 5, 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio from the union of his parents Lois and George “Buck” Pennyman.
Herbie, as he was affectionately known by family and friends, was educated in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District where he attended Miles Standish Elementary, Empire Junior High, and Glenville High School graduating in 1980. At Miles Standish Herbie completed a major work curriculum as part of the enrichment program; at Empire he was in section 1; at Glenville he was a fixture on the Tarblooders basketball team making varsity as a sophomore after honing his skills on the basketball courts at Cory Rec., the East Cleveland Y, Charles H. Lake, and Flora playground. After graduating high school Herb took classes at Cleveland State University.
In 1989 Herbie joined the Cleveland Division of Fire as a Fourth Grade Fire-Medic. Ironically, Herb and his sister Leshia escaped a house fire when they were children and were rescued off of the roof of their home by Cleveland firefighters. He successfully completed his apprenticeship program and was promoted to fire lieutenant in 2001. Upon promotion, he served a short stint in the Fire Prevention Bureau as a fire inspector. Because Herb enjoyed working with firefighters from a wide swath of the division, he relished his role as a rover, which required him to fill in at fire companies that needed a supervisor. He remained a rover until illness caused his return to the “bureau” and ultimately his untimely retirement in December of 2017.
There were many aspects of the fire service experience that Herb enjoyed. He loved serving the public during emergencies. He always insisted that his crew conduct themselves as professionals and treat the public and each other with respect. Brunch, lunch, and supper were the highlights of the day for him. He famously was known to pay for his crew’s meals, especially in exchange for being excused from after meal clean up chores. He also enjoyed working out, playing cards and chess, and shooting hoops during down times at the station.
A passionate man, Herb enjoyed sports cars, sports, Doberman pinscher dogs, movies, and living the ‘sportin’ life. He owned a corvette, three Porsche 911’s, and a BMW X6 sports utility vehicle; he loved watching boxing, basketball, and football; he raised two Dobermans – Winston and Humphrey; his favorite movie was “The Godfather” and he often talked of going to the Scrumpty Dump movie theater on Euclid Avenue during the 1970’s; playing cards and shooting pool were also passions of his. Above all, Herb loved to eat. As a youth he enjoyed going to Dippy Whip for a vanilla milkshake. Mr. Hero’s hot butter steak sandwiches were also a favorite. Red Lobster, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Open Pit Barbecue, Angie’s Soul Food, Slyman’s, the Waffle House, and Angela’s Restaurant were among his gastronomical choices. Herb was a big tipper and these establishments will surely miss him. But most of all Herb loved Lois’s chicken and dressing and smothered pork chops, not to mention her Mexicali dish. Herb also enjoyed a course of Spaghetti O’s and bologna sandwiches with a bag of Hostess miniature powdered doughnuts and a large glass of Nestle’s Quick chocolate milk for dessert.
Herb’s greatest passion was his love for family and friends. During most of his adult life he supported his mother Lois and when she fell ill he was by her side day and night. Named after his grandfather Herbert “Pop” Solomon, he cherished his formative years living with “Pop” and his grandmother “Bubba” on Empire Avenue. He kept in constant contact with his best buddies Mike, Rusty, and Vic and encouraged them to do the same.
Standing 6’4” and weighing upwards of 250 pounds at his peak, Herb was an imposing physical presence that belied his gentle nature. He had an infectious laugh. When something tickled Herb you would find him sprawled out on the floor with joyful tears gushing from his eyes. He’d let out a loud guffaw and a snort before regaining his composure several moments later.
Herb leaves to cherish his memory two sisters Leisha Pennyman West (Benjamin) and Linda Mann (one sister Cheryl Prater preceded him in death), two aunts Jeanette Pennyman and Ludie Amos, and two uncles John Pennyman and Frank Ivy. He will also be sorely missed by a host of relatives, friends, and his brother and sister Cleveland firefighters.
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