John Michael Penny

June 27, 1943February 5, 2013

John Michael Penny passed away in Halifax on February 5th 2013 from complications developed following surgery. John was born on June 27, 1943 in Sydney to Michael and Annie (MacQueen) Penny. He lived his early life with his maternal grandparents John J and Annie (Campbell) MacQueen in Round Island, Cape Breton. As was typical in the days of John’s youth on Cape Breton Island, John’s education began in a one room school house. After completing elementary studies at Round Island and Mira Gut, John attended Gowrie Memorial School in Port Morin before graduating from Riverview Rural High School in Coxheath. John studied at the Teachers College in Truro. He graduated from the Nova Scotia Summer School for Teachers having completed a block program in Junior High School Education with a major in social studies. John furthered his studies at University of British Columbia in Vancouver where he received a B.A. with advanced major in geography. Urban geography remained one of his strong interests life long. John rounded out his education with a M.Ed. in the field of curriculum development from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. John’s ultimate education came from being with his students for nearly three decades. His patience and hard work had an impact on youth from all walks of life. He taught students in elementary, junior and senior high. Throughout the years, John’s career included the teaching of adjusted, general and academic and enriched classes, as well as an all boys’ class. John’s teaching career enabled him to pursue one of his greatest passions, traveling. He taught in Sydney, NS; Sherbrooke QC; CFB Goose Bay, Labrador and Fort Saint John, BC before settling permanently in Dartmouth, where the latter half of his career was spent at Prince Andrew High School. A sabbatical leave in 1985-86 enabled John to travel to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He often described that year as one of the happiest of his life. It instilled in him an indelible sense of hope for humanity and reinforced his support of equality and human rights. Retiring in 1995, John continued to travel. His favorite Canadian destination was Vancouver, others were Cuba, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and in later years Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. His other great passions were reading and gardening. His gardens were designed to have something in bloom at every stage of the gardening season. Besides his parents, John is survived by his aunts, Effie (Donald) Ferguson of Round Island; Ina (the late Norman) MacDonald Sydney and his uncle James (Jean) MacQueen of Round Island. As per John’s wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no Funeral. John believed that the world could never have enough flowers. Yet, on his passing, instead of flowers, donations to be made to the Children’s Wish Foundation, N S Branch, so a child’s seed of hope will blossom into a dream fulfilled. Condolences may be sent to Mr & Mrs Mike Penny, P O Box 773 STN A, Sydney NS B1P 1J6. To view or place an online message of condolence please visit


John Michael Penny

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Trish and Chris Giles

February 15, 2013

I am very sorry for your family's loss. I met my husband in John's grade 10 class. He retired the same year we graduated. We had joked with him that after having our group over the past few years he was ready for retirement. May your fond memories help you through this hard time.

February 15, 2013

Deepest sympathy to Mr. Penny's family. I am so sorry for your loss.
May he rest in peace. Janice Heiman Carney

February 14, 2013

My deepest sympathy. John was my teacher in high school. He was a wonderful teacher whom I always thought the world of. I know how much he hated having surgery and this must have been hard for him. My he rest in peace. Brenda(Taylor) Macintyre

Wendy Lattie

February 12, 2013

My condolences to John's family and friends at this sad time. RIP

Darlene Burns

February 11, 2013

My heartfelt condolences go out to John's family and friends at this sad time...I remember him well from early days in Albert Bridge...RI|P

February 11, 2013

Mr. Penny was my Grade 9 Homeroom and English teacher. He will be remembered as a great teacher and a great man. My condolences to the Penny family for the loss of your loved one.