The Rev. Joseph Riley Penick, 68 of Frostburg, Maryland, stepped into his eternal home with Jesus, the One whom he loved with his whole heart, soul and mind, on Saturday, July 2, 2022, after a brief battle of Glioblasoma, Brain Cancer. If ever a man loved Jesus and loved all people, it was him. We could clearly hear the Father say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Joe was born June 28, 1954 in Salina, Kansas. He was the son of Violet Penick and the late Charles Penick, Sr. of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Joe was also preceded in death by a daughter, Jennifer.
Joe was a graduate of Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, The University of Wisconsin in El Claire, Wisconsin, and Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.
Joe had a passion to share the love of God will all people of all ages. Joe never knew a stranger and would stop and talk to everyone he met. His conversations always ended with “God bless you.” “Keep up the good work,” and a prayer.
Joe’s love for all people was evident in the jobs he held throughout his life. He was a camp counselor at Caroline Furnace in Virginia, worked for the City of Frostburg, Teacher at New Dominion School for 25+ years in Oldtown, Maryland, Fill-in preaching for various churches in the tri-state area. Joe was one of the founding members of the group that organized and opened New Directions Unlimited, a youth center on Main Street. It was their desire to have a safe place where young and old alike could come in, feel safe and know that they were unconditionally loved. The Youth Center remains open on Main Street today. Then in 1992 his dream came true when he got the call to be the full time pastor at the First Congregational Church in Frostburg, Maryland. He served with passion and zeal with a heart full of unconditional love and a desire to see all people draw closer to God and their faith increase. There are just to many blessings to mention while serving at the church. Memories that are etched in our hearts for all eternity. Joe stepped down as Pastor in Frostburg, as God had a new calling in his life. to be the full time pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Rockwood, PA. There again, he served with passion and zeal and a desire to see all people draw closer to God and watch their faith increase. Joe was the acting President of the Rockwood Ministerium Group. Joe was also actively involved with the Congregational Christian Fellowship Church in Winchester, Virginia, the church that his wife pastors. Joe did Bible Studies at Archway Station in Cumberland, Maryland for many years, and served as a member of the Board. Joe was also a Board Member on Pilgrim Theological Seminary.
Joe’s love for people literally took him all around the world as he made numerous mission trips to the Philippines, China, Africa and Mexico.
While being a pastor in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, Joe always looked forward to and attended the Annual Meetings. It was there he formed uncountable friendships that have lasted a life time. Joe also served with gladness and joy on the NACCC Mission Committee.
Joe was a substitute teacher in Mineral County West Virginia, and was doing homebound teaching in Mineral and Hampshire Counties, right up to the time of his passing. Joe also did substitute teaching at Salem School, a division of Maryland Salem Children’s Trust.
Joe could be found at any of the local nursing homes or hospitals on any given day. He loved visiting and praying for the residents and patients. He did Sunday Services at the Nursing Homes and gave many a prayers. He found great joy in offering a smile and a prayer to uncountable residents and their families. When Covid hit, it drove Joe crazy, as he could not go and visit the residents. But he would daily pray for them in his daily prayer time.
Sports also played a large part of Joe’s life. He coached many teams of different sports. He also played just about any sport out there. He used to enjoy playing tennis with his daughter, Stephanie. More recently, Joe was a cheerleader and biggest fan of his grandsons, Cobe and Carter, at their games. He was one proud grandfather!
Joe loved traveling and witnessing all of God’s beauty. Whether it was to the beach or the mountains, Joe could be found swimming in the ocean or climbing up a mountain, just to get a closer look.
Joe loved and always looked forward to spending time with family. Holidays and get togethers were special to him. Of course he was always late, but that was just the Joe Penick way.
Surviving is his wife of 34 years, Caroline, Son Gabriel Penick of Frostburg, Daughter Stephanie (Stephen) Wilt of Frostburg, Grandsons Cobe and Carter of Frostburg, Mother, Violet Penick; Brother Charles Penick, Jr (Kim) of Fredericksburg, VA, Nephew Seth (Amanda) of Chester Springs, PA, Niece Kelly of Fredericksburg, VA, Great-Nephew Lee of Chester Springs, PA, Uncle, Barry Jamison, Sr of Richmond, VA, and numerous cousins.
The family will receive guests on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, from 4 to 8 pm at Durst Funeral Home in Frostburg. Funeral will be held Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at the Trinity Reformed Church in Rockwood, PA. at 1 pm. Friends will be received 2 hours prior to the service. Pastor Gary Tustin will officiate. Final resting place will be at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Cemetery (Twin Churches), Meyersdale PA.
The family requests memorial donations be made to Durst Funeral Home to help defray the funeral expenses.
The family would like to thank the staff at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV, WVU Cancer Center in Morgantown, WV, and Potomac Valley Hospital WVU in Keyser, WV, for their love and compassion showed during Joe’s diagnose and treatment of cancer. It was a comfort and blessing to the family to see him treated with such respect and dignity. Special thanks to Dr. Kimberly Hamilton, Neurosurgeon WVU, Dr. Vladimir Valakh, Radiation Oncologist at WVU, Dr. Sonikpreet Ayakh, NeuroOncology, WVU, and all the other staff to numerous to mention. Your kindness will never be forgotten. May God bless your hearts and hands as you reach out minister to other families struggling through with loved ones diagnosed with this aggressive cancer. Also, the staff at Magnolia Health Care and Dr. Boyd Sprenkle for all their attentive and compassionate care.