SUN PRAIRIE—Elise McHugh Penny, of Sun Prairie, Wis., passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on Oct. 6, 2019, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wis.
Born Harriet Elise McHugh in Chicago, Ill., on June 21, 1938, she was the third child of Robert McHugh and Harriet Bernice Abbaduska McHugh. She grew up in Evanston, Ill. and was a 1960 graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Elise married Richard John Penny in Evanston on July 9, 1960. Dick and Elise then lived in Oakland, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., and Portage, Wis., before settling in Sun Prairie in 1974.
Elise was an elementary school teacher, loving mother and teacher to her four children, a lifelong learner, and amateur archivist: She was known for her detailed documentation of her family history, treasured photo and documentation binders she created for her grandchildren, and her deep love for royal and American societal history, art history, interior design and decoration. Her penchant for the collection of information formed a home library she called “Books of Useless Knowledge”, a compendium of newspaper, magazine, and online articles, photos, and general information, placed in binders by topic, which are too numerous to count.
Elise was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and contributed to the preservation of Portage, Wis. historical sites including the Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters and the Indian Agency House. In Sun Prairie, Elise sat on the Bicentennial Committee, was an active member of Sacred Hearts Parish, served on the Parish Council and was a Trustee of the parish. For the past several years, Elise has enjoyed perhaps her favorite role of all, as a docent at the State of Wisconsin’s Executive Residence in Madison, Wis.
An avid reader and socializer, Elise will be dearly missed by her tight-knit mother-daughter book club group, “The Young and the Restless”. One of her lifelong pastimes was her cross stich, embroidery, and needlepoint work, and her substantial number of completed works remain treasured possessions in her own home and by her family. Also among her passions was her love for travel, and she and her family shared many journeys in the U.S., Europe, and Asia in her lifetime.
Elise was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dick; her parents, Robert and Bernice; and her siblings, Robert Day McHugh and Joan McHugh Geldermann. Elise is survived by her four children: Lisa (Greg) Hovel of Sun Prairie, Rick (Molly) of Eden Prairie, Minn., Colleen (Paul) Krueger of Stoughton, Wis., and Brian (Karen) of Hartland, Wis. She is survived by 10 grandchildren: Elizabeth and Christopher Hovel, Richard and Mary Catherine Penny, Nora, Zach, Ty, and Nathan Krueger, and Frances and Cole Penny. She is further survived by her sisters-in-law, Peggy McHugh and Lou Penny; as well as many nieces and nephews. She will be sorely missed by Darling, her treasured feline friend and companion.
A visitation will be held at Tuschen-Newcomer Funeral Home, 302 Columbus St., Sun Prairie, on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., concluding with a prayer service. A Mass of Christian Burial, concelebrated by Monsignor Duane Moellenberndt and Monsignor James Uppena, will be held at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church, 221 Columbus St., Sun Prairie 53590, on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, with visitation from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and celebratory Mass at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Anthony’s Guild, The Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province, 144 W. 32nd St, New York, NY 10001-3202.
Tuschen-Newcomer Funeral Home
Sun Prairie 608-837-5400