Helen Maria (Soos) Penhale

Age 79, of East Lansing, MI, passed away on Thursday, December 1, 2016. She was surrounded by her loved ones. Helen was born December 12, 1936 in Detroit to William August and Elsa (Knapp) Soos, both German immigrants. Helen graduated from George N. Bentley High School in Farmington, Michigan in June, 1954. She applied to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with the required drawing assignment, a chair. She was accepted and subsequently her parents drove her to Rhode Island where she attended college. Helen graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile Design from RISD, in May, 1959, and began working at Saks Fifth Avenue, in Detroit, Michigan.

In August, 1959 Helen married Robert Randall (Bob) Penhale, a graduate of Detroit Institute of Technology, College of Pharmacy. Bob and Helen made their first home on Telegraph Rd, in Redford Township, Michigan, while Bob worked at Livonia Drug. In 1961 Bob and Helen built a home on Fairway Drive in Livonia, Michigan. In 1965, their children were still quite young when Helen and Bob purchased property; they built a home designed by Helen at the corner of Hickory Ridge and Buno Road, in Milford, Michigan. They moved in just in time for Christmas, 1966.

In June of 1969, Helen and Bob moved, with their four children, to Onaway, Michigan, where they purchased Forster Drug store. Bob ran the pharmacy while Helen created the gift shop, and did the bookkeeping for Penhale Pharmacy, for 15 years. Helen was very active with Girl Scouts, and the United Methodist Church of Onaway. She played piano for the children’s choir, and taught Sunday School. Helen’s faith in God was very important to her.

After the pharmacy closed in 1984, Helen attended Central Michigan University where she graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, certified for K-8 all subjects and K-12 for Art Education. Beginning in 1988, Helen Taught 3rd and 4th grades at Harbor Light Christian School in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Following her retirement in 2001, she moved to the East Lansing area where she tutored several children in elementary subjects, as well as piano and art lessons. Helen was a skilled seamstress and quilter through the years, and has given many gifts of quilts to friends and family.

Surviving are Helen and Bob’s four children: Elizabeth (Penhale) Rider of DeWitt, Michigan; Benjamin Penhale of Commerce Township, Michigan; Jennifer (Penhale) Hare of Valley, Nebraska; and Samantha Penhale of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Elizabeth and her husband, David Rider, have four children: Matthew Rider, Hannah (Rider) Holderread, Andrew Rider, and Abigail Rider. All reside in Michigan. Hannah and her husband, James (Jim) Holderread have one daughter, a great-granddaughter to Helen, Bethany Holderread. Benjamin and his wife, Heidi Horrocks, have one son, Miles Penhale. Jennifer and her husband, Matthew Hare, have five children: Elsa Hare, Emmaline Hare, Eliza Hare, Ezra Hare, and Eva Hare. All reside in Nebraska.

Also surviving are two brothers: Walter Don (Norma) Soos of Hartland, Michigan, and Robert E. (Barbara) Soos of Coldwater, Michigan. Helen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Robert (Bob) Penhale, and her brother William F. (Martha) Soos, as well as an infant daughter, Helen Maria Penhale, born prematurely in early 1960, and deceased after just two days.

Visitation will be held at New Hope Church of Haslett on Saturday, December 10, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. with a funeral service beginning at 12:00 noon, at the same location. New Hope Church of Haslett is located at 1340 Haslett Road, Haslett, Michigan 48840. Immediately following the service, a luncheon will be served, also at the church. Pastor Gary Post will officiate. Helen’s final resting place following cremation will be North Allis Cemetery, in Onaway, Michigan. Plans for the burial are tentatively scheduled for Spring, 2017. If planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Helen, to New Hope Church of Haslett.

Print Obituary

2 Messages to “Helen Maria (Soos) Penhale

Print Messages
Bill, Nola & Jenna Berry
December 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm

So sorry for your loss
Lots of Love to you all.

Christie C
December 8, 2016 at 7:55 am

Sending our deepest sympathy and condolences to your family. May the God of all comfort strengthen you to cope and endure this difficult time.


Please Sign The Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *