Our grandfather, father, brother and friend Lewis F. Penwell passed into the arms of the Lord Friday, Jan. 4, 2008.
He had family members by his side at his passing. A celebration of Lew’s life will be held at the Billings Petroleum Club on Thursday at 4 p.m. Lewis F. Penwell was born on the Spokane Ranch in Helena April 8, 1930. He was the first son of L. Fred Penwell and Priscilla Garvin Penwell. Lew lived in Helena until the age of 12 when he moved to Billings with his family. The family lived on Grand Avenue across the street from Billlings Senior High School, which he graduated from in 1948. Lew attended Stanford University for his freshman and sophomore years. He transferred to the University of Montana to complete his education. He was also cocaptain of the university ski team during that time. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business. While at the University he met the love of his life, Diana Reynolds. They were married December 27, 1952 and honeymooned in Banff, Canada because of Lew’s passion for skiing. It wasn’t long before Diana (Dinny) shared his love for the sport as well. They eventually introduced their four children David, Sandy, Carol and Chris to the sport. Lew spent the next 54 years in the oil business. He worked for the Continental Oil Company for 14 years, first as a scout and then as an independent landman. The next 40 years he spent working as an independent landman. Lewis’ interests always revolved around his family, skiing and serving his community. He was a member of the National Beartooth Ski Patrol, the Silver run Ski Club, and the Red Lodge Mountain Ski Instructors and PSIA-NRM. He took pride in being a Full Certified Ski Instructor. Being an equal opportunity Dad, Lew gave each of his four children a chance to ski race. He was a charter member of the Silver Run Ski Club. Other organizations Lewis was a member of were the Eagle mount ski program, Kiwanis, Elks Club, and Rotary Club, Petroleum club, and a 50 year member of Ashler Lodge #29. Lewis was also active in the St. Marks Episcopal church in Havre, Montana and St. Luke’s Episcopal church in Billings. Lewis is survived by his wife of 55 years Diana R. Penwell; his brothers J. David Penwell (Rose Ann Penwell) of Bozeman, George S. Penwell (Inger) of Oak Harbor, Wash.; his children and their families, David H. Penwell (Kathy), Kainoa Lincoln (Donna), Jacob M. Penwell (Amy), Joseph Penwell and Abigail Penwell; Sandy Waters (Brett), Sheena Waters and Yvette Waters; Carol Penwell; Christine M. Penwell (Jennifer). Our family would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the wonderful caring staff of the Big Sky Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Lewis Penwell’s name to the Big Sky Hospice.