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Woodlawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park

400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Gotha, FL

OBITUARY

Frederick Dale Pennington

December 18, 1926March 16, 2020

COACH FREDERICK D. PENNINGTON

Coach Frederick D. Pennington, 93, of Mount Dora passed away March 16, 2020. Born December 18, 1926, in Algoma, West Virginia, he was the son of the late Robert Ellis and Pearl Ham Pennington. Earning scholarships in both baseball and basketball, Mr. Pennington graduated from Concord College and began his teaching and coaching careers at North Fork High School in North Fork, WVA.

After moving to Florida in 1959, he resumed his passion for teaching and coaching basketball at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando as the school's junior varsity basketball coach where he also served as athletic director until 1975. After becoming the school's varsity basketball coach, his first varsity team won 20 games in the 1961-1962 season. His 1968 team was state runner-up and in 1975, he led his Trojans to win the state championship. His cumulative record was 340 wins and only 79 losses. He amassed 9 metro conference championships, 5 district championships and 2 regional championships. He was in the Metro Conference Hall of Fame and the Evans High School Hall of Fame as a coach and an administrator. His coaching career spanned from 1959-1976. One of his players, Darryl Dawkins, was the first player drafted directly out of high school into the NBA, signing with the Philadelphia 76'ers. During his time at Evans, Mr. Pennington continued his education and earned a Master's Degree from Florida State University.

During his tenure as head coach at Evans, he created more championship teams than any other coach in the high school's history. He was often heard to say "a good coach does more than produce good players. He builds great teams". Coach Pennington was honored by having the gymnasium at the old high school named after him. Coaches from opposing schools called the gym "the Snake Pit".

On May 8, 2014, Mr. Pennington was recognized and honored by the Honorable Daniel Webster in the Florida House of Representatives for his dedication to the students and athletes of Central Florida. His remarks became part of the Congressional Record on that day. That same year, the Fred Pennington Endowment Fund was established in honor of Coach Pennington for the impact he had on students both on and off the court during his tenure at Evans High School. The fund provides scholarships for Maynard Evans High School graduating seniors who are male or female basketball players or cheerleaders from low-income families and are desirous of attending a technical/vocational school, college or university. Mr. Pennington was a 32nd Degree Freemason. He enjoyed many things including playing bridge and pool, working in his yard, going on cruises and visiting with his former "Trojan" students and athletes. Coach Pennington is survived by the love of his life, Jane R. Pennington, with whom he celebrated 70 years of marriage on December 26, 2019. He is also survived by his nephew, Butch Uzzo and his wife, Joanne of Spring Hill, Florida; and his nieces, Debbie Love of Ocoee, Florida and Carol Hardin of Springfield, Virginia.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Otis Pennington and Leo Pennington, his sisters Retta Uzzo and Maxine Hardin and his son, Frederick D. Pennington, Jr.

We would like to express our appreciation to the staff at Osprey Lodge, especially Pam Williams, for treating Mr. Pennington as their family and taking special care of him during his residence there. Due to the Covid-19 virus, a man who deserves the most will get the least therefore services and burial will be private. Friends and family are invited to join us in honoring his memory at a celebration of his life to be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Fred Pennington Endowment Fund, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, c/o Deborah Pedraza, 445 W. Amelia Street, Orlando, FL 32801.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Frederick Dale Pennington

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George Trent

March 27, 2020

Coach Pennington,
I played for you at Northfork your last year there.
At that time we were the BEST Northfork ever had.
We got Beat by Lookout in the State tournament.
I will never forget how you pushed us to be the best we could be. You yelled at me all the time to "get that blonde off your mind".
I never forgot you and it broke my heart when you left my senior year.
You were one of the primary figures in shaping my life. Thank you.

Pam Williams

March 26, 2020

R.I.P. Fred...... This is truly hard for me! You were a GREAT man who loved him self some basketball. From the stories that i have hear, JOB WELL DONE COACH!!!! Just to hear about the many lives you've touched, it's amazing. You are gone but NEVER forgotten. You will always have that special place in my heart. Sleep easy Fred. i know you are in a better place. Love you, your Pam........

Roy Saricks

March 25, 2020

I was fortunate enough to know coach Pennington during my entire time Evans high School from seventh grade through senior year. Always found him to be present and able to help you .Was very interested in what you were doing in your life and always tryed to show you how to make you do it better . If it wasn't for him I probably would have not gone on the track team and eventually onto the golf team. I was also lucky having coach painting live in my neighborhood and got to see him more than daily as he passed by going to work. Very much great man great life .

Janice Conner Germann

March 25, 2020

Rest in peace, Coach Pennington. I taught at Evans from 1973-1983 and remember you as a wonderful and amazing teacher, coach, AD and colleague.

Bernie McPherson

March 25, 2020

I was one of the basketball officials for Evans High School in the sixties and seventies. Lots of memories about those games. RIP.

Ronald Davis

March 24, 2020

Rest in Peace,Coach, I transferred to Evan's from Jones high school during the era of Integration (71-72)Didnt know what to expect.
You treated me with respect. I really appreciate the 2yrs I played for the Trojans in the snake pit. Always a Trojan.. Thanks Coach.Rest in Heaven! Ron Davis....


Joanne Uzzo

March 24, 2020

Uncle Fred, there is no way to tell you the massive void we are already feeling in our lives. I will be forever grateful to you for being the father figure in Butch’s life that he needed and for using tough love when he needed it...like sending him home from Florida on the train by himself at 12 years old when he misbehaved at your house 😊. He looked up to and admired you more than any person in his entire life. I remember him saying that all he ever wanted when he was a kid was to be as tall as you LOL. He will miss you forever, as will I. You were always the strong one in this family but I hope we can all be strong now trying to get used to life without you.

Thank you for accepting me into your family as your niece all those years ago. I have always known and seen how much you meant to Butch and have seen firsthand the positive impact you’ve had in his life. You always told me from the day we got married “Jo, if you ever have a problem with him, you call me and I’ll straighten him out”. Every time I’d see you even recently, you would say, “Jo, is he behaving? You let me know if he’s not. Also, I hope you’re beating him at pool”.

We will miss you forever and we love you so much. Rest easy, Uncle Coach. We’ll see you again.


Tom Justice

March 24, 2020

Growing up in Pine Hills playing baseball and basketball, their were two names that young men knew very well, Coach Gosnel and Coach Pennington.

I remember clearly the first time I was presented to Coach Pennington by my father Jerry Justice, which many growing up in Pine Hills knew him as the Sheriffs Deputy standing at the entrance of the the Snake Pit or at the gate of a football game.

I have read many of the memories written by others and would agree with each of them regarding the blessings Coach Pennington provided and brought into so many lives. I was privileged to listen to him speak to the talented team that won the State Championship several times before or after a home game. His character and motivation made you a believer that any obstacle can be overcome with hard work, determination and dedication. Those words I use everyday while I am training young men how to become student athletes.

As I read Coach Hulette’s message I would also agree that it was men like Mr. Pitts. Coach Gosnel and Coach Pennington that provided a lot of young athletes in Pine Hills a better place and how to reach your goals in life.

Thank you Coach Pennington for being a part of my life growing up. My condolences and blessings to the family!

Sandee Canon

March 23, 2020

I attended Evans during during its basketball glory days & the state championship basketball team ('74-'77). Coach Pennington was well loved & respected & we were so proud to be in the Snake Pit & watch the magic happen!

Alice Williams

March 23, 2020

Evans High School class of ‘75 will especially remember Coach Pennington for leading the team who played some of the most amazing high school basketball - ever. Thanks Coach, you were the best!

FROM THE FAMILY