Michael Raymond Penland

March 21, 1952January 21, 2023
Obituary of Michael Raymond Penland
Michael Raymond Penland will be deeply missed by his family and friends. After being so strong during his journey with kidney disease, Michael left his body peacefully on Saturday January 21, 2023 in his home, and is now free from pain. He was surrounded in love with his four children and one of his granddaughters, who he loved unconditionally, by his side holding his hands as he took his last breath. Michael, who was known affectionately to most as Pops, Santa, or Mike, was born in Oakland, CA and raised by his amazing strong mother Erna Penland, originally from Canada. He was a proud older brother to David Penland, who moved to Alaska as a teenager; David crossed over in 2003. Pops was a devoted and loving son to his mom until she crossed over in 2010, and now reunites in spirit with both who he dearly missed, his beloved mom and brother. He grew up in the Bay Area, graduating from San Leandro High School in 1970 and then entered into the trucking industry, which became his career. He had countless stories of his years on the road, both locally and traveling the US in his diesel truck. Mike was also a talented mechanic and handyman, who could fix anything. Mike could strike up a conversation and make friends with just about anyone. He loved his friends like family and relished in sharing stories of youthful shenanigans and meaningful memories of drag racing and working on cars, riding Harley Davidsons and going fishing. Pops loved car races, baseball, cowboy shows, telling jokes and was the life of the party, out on the dance floor bringing joy and fun to the room! To know Pops was to love Pops. Whether he was your friend Mike, Santa Pops, Dad, Grandpa, son, brother, Uncle, coach, mentor or the most loving dog dad to his loyal companion Murphy, he brought so much joy to this world. He was an amazing story teller, could light up a room with his friendly nature, made the best ‘Penland Potatoes’, delighted in coaching girls’ bobby sox softball and boys’ little league baseball, and bringing magic into a child's eyes as Santa . Pops loved his family with his whole heart and was so generous with his unconditional love, encouragement, and unwavering support. Michael is survived by his four loving children; daughter Aubrey Penland of Santa Cruz, son Rodney Penland of San Lorenzo, daughter Jennifer VanValkenburg of Stockton, and son Matthew VanValkenburg (and his wife Nicole) of Modesto. Michael leaves four granddaughters, Isabel, Alex, Jenna, and Angelique, three great grandsons to Jenna, and one nephew, Aaron of Alaska. He is also survived by his sweet dog Murphy who was a best friend and loyal companion. Fly free our beautiful Pops, you will be missed every day, until we meet again🕊 March 21,1952 - January 21, 2023❤️ A celebration of life will be planned after the family has time tending to their hearts in this time of grief. We wish to honor Pops by celebrating the amazing man he was…loving, supportive, friendly, warm hearted, strong, joyful, sensitive, hard working, and protective. Please share a story or memory of Michael below as a way to honor him and bring comfort to his family by keeping his bright beautiful spirit alive. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Penland family.

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