Mary Penelope “Penny” Baylis Wooten, died Wednesday, the 28th of April, at Highgate Senior Living in Wenatchee.
Born in Wenatchee on Sept. 17, 1926, Penny had two older brothers, Willard and Robert. Robert was Washington’s first casualty of World War II when his training plane crashed in California in 1941. That loss had a lasting impact on her life. Penny graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1944 and went on to graduate from the University of Washington in 1948. She often shared great stories of working in her father’s Wenatchee apple packing plant, Apple Capital Growers. She kept a sample of every apple label in a fruit box that later became the basis of a museum exhibit.
Penny worked for the State Department in Washington, D.C., after college and met and married George F. Wooten on June 11, 1951. George worked for the National Security Agency and they raised three children – George, Robert and Jody – in Clarksville, Maryland, on their beautiful 40-acre farm. George Sr. did duty tours in Japan for two years and Okinawa for two years, allowing Penny to become an excellent Japanese cook.
When George retired in 1976 they returned to Washington and bought a cattle ranch in Malott and raised all kinds of farm animals from sheep and goats to pigs, chickens, geese and peacocks. Married for 54 years, George preceded her in death in 2005.
Penny was very active and had many interests. She enjoyed skiing, ice skating, hiking and swimming; she was an excellent cook and enjoyed gardening and working with animals of all kinds. She had a spinning and weaving shop in Omak and both she and George were involved with the Omak Stampede. She had a love of the arts and was an accomplished singer and pianist, a love that she passed on to her children. They lived in Twisp for a short time so they could enjoy hiking and nature before moving back to Wenatchee where she volunteered at the museum.
Her happiest days were spent at the cabin that her brothers built on Lake Chelan, with friends and family and of course her beloved dogs. She remained active and healthy and at 94 years young still enjoyed swimming at Lake Chelan.
Most of all she loved her family. She is survived by her sons Robert (Jane) and George, daughter Jody (Gary) Rempel, grandchildren Robert and Rachel (Connor) Cundall and great-grandchildren Lorelai and Logan, along with numerous cousins. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.