Obituary: Penny Denise Smith
Penny Denise Smith, 57, of Cottonwood, Arizona, passed away September 22, 2021. Penny was born in Mobile, AL., and grew up in the Florida panhandle. Her childhood was simply farm life elevated in excitement by the occasional alligator in the family’s catfish ponds.
At age 15, Penny’s family relocated to Cottonwood in 1979, and she graduated from Mingus Union High School in 1982. It was during this time that Penny formed friendships that literally lasted a lifetime, speaking with these friends on a daily/weekly basis up until her passing. After graduating from Mingus, Penny attended Arizona State University, where she majored in partying, with a minor in making more friends.
Over the course of her life, Penny held multiple different jobs, from food and beverage to working for the United States Postal Service. If asked which job was her favorite or most impactful, Penny wouldn’t hesitate to say;” Main Stage”. It was at Main Stage where Penny hosted a weekly bingo night, where she was the emcee and bingo caller. Making people feel welcomed, loved, and appreciated was a job that she relished in, often rattling “off the cuff” satire that would sometimes make a sailor blush. With the help of the community’s patrons and her very close friend, who owns Main Stage, Penny’s weekly bingo night raised $60,000 over the past 5-1/2 years for various charities that had valuable impacts on the community she cherished. It was at Main Stage that she continued forming lasting bonds and connecting people.
Penny loved her extended family of friends deeply; to know her was to love her, and she didn’t take that lightly. Penny was an avid photographer, often using her niece and nephew as props to continue her passion in photography and for that her family is blessed to have a lifetime of memories on film. Penny loved her family deeply and enjoyed each opportunity she had to spend with them. To say Penny was close with her family is an understatement. She doted on her niece and nephew and considered them not only family but her best and closest friends; bragging to her friends about her great nieces and nephews was a favorite pastime. Penny and her immediate family were fortunate to live so close to one another and were able to be gather often or help one another. She truly loved each and every family member and was loved two- fold in return.
Penny was very proud of who she was, what she stood for; and the people she surrounded herself with. She was an ambassador of human kindness, understanding, equality and love, she carried this torch with strong shoulders and a big heart. She will be deeply missed by all she encountered and will live on in each person she touched. Penny’s family and friends invite all who would like to attend to a PENNYBRATION, a celebration of Penny, at Riverfront Park on October 17th at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages those who wish to donate/volunteer in Penny’s name at the Verde Valley Humane Society, a cause near and dear to her. Penny is survived by her mother, Darlene “Scooter” Baker; sister, Kim Demoney and husband, Leonard Demoney; nephew, Kyle R Shanahan, wife, Holly and sons, Austin and Wyatt; niece, Krista J. Cowgill, husband, Ross and children, Ethan, Hunter, Elizabeth and Laura. An online guest book is available to sign at www.westcottfuneralhome.com.
Information was provided by Westcott Funeral Home.