Alford R. Penniman was an attorney and pastor

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Pastor of Gentle Shepherd Fellowship

The Honorable Alford R. Penniman, 87, Roscoe, was born in Rockford, IL on February 9th, 1935, the son of Alford and Jane (Bement) Penniman. He earned his undergraduate degree from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in 1956 and received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1959. Al married Judith Meyer on August 12, 1961, in Red Wing, MN. Both Al and Judy served as pastors at Gentle Shepherd Fellowship in Rockford for many years. Al was also a judge with the 17th Judicial Circuit for Boone and Winnebago County.

Al died peacefully of natural causes in Knoxville, TN on Monday, July 18, 2022, preceded by his wife Judy in 2020 and son Kevin in 2000, both co-pastors of Gentle Shepherd Fellowship.

Al deeply loved his family, his judicial career, and the ministry they were called to. In retirement, Al also served as a congressional aide to Congressman Donald Manzullo. Some of Al’s favorite activities were reading, photography, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, shooting archery, and attending church activities.



Al is survived by his son, Dr. Eric (Amy) Penniman of Knoxville, TN; his grandchildren, Kristen (Nicholas) Mancini, Katelyn (James) Goglia, Jessica (Grant) Ellis, Josiah (Ellen) Penniman, and Benjamin Penniman; his ten great-grandchildren; his daughter-in-law, Julie (Jerry) Bramstedt; brother-in-law, Burleigh A. Randolph, as well as several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Al’s life will take place on Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. at Gentle Shepherd Fellowship, 2905 Bildahl St., Rockford, IL., with a one-hour reception immediately afterwards.  Pastor Harry Schmidt, President of Christian Life College and a close longtime family friend and mentor, will officiate the service. Burial will be in Arlington Memorial Park Cemetery. Arrangements have been made by Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Rockford, IL 61108.

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