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Lilly Marie “Lil” Penka 1939 - 2022
Lilly Marie “Lil” Penka

Lilly Marie “Lil” Penka, 83, passed away May 21, 2022, at her home in Great Bend. She was born Jan. 9, 1939, in Garden City, to Al A. and Albertina (Urban) Dreiling. Lil married Donald Lee Penka Nov. 25, 1963, in Garden City. He died Aug. 10, 2021.

Lil, a resident of Great Bend since 1963 coming from Garden City, was a member of Prince of Peace Parish at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Daughters of Isabella and the Altar Society. Lil operated a home day care for many years, in which she maintained relationships with many of the children she cared for. Because of all those relationships, the family would like to invite any of her kids and their families to sit together at the church. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, traveling and cherished family time and her grandchildren’s events.  

Survivors include one son, Matt Penka and his wife Christi of Great Bend; two daughters, Michele Smith and husband Delbert of Topeka, and Melissa Sides of Hutchinson; seven grandchildren, Lauren Penka, Blake Penka, Dru Penka, Sarah Smith, Samantha Smith, Ashley Sides and Braden Sides; one sister, Violet Fry of Garden City; and one brother-in-law, Vincent Simmons of Garden City. She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Marcene Penka; a brother Johnny Dreiling and his wife Helen; two sisters, Mary Ann Campbell and husband Jerry, and Sylvia Simmons; and a brother-in-law Melvin Fry.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Thursday, May 26, 2022, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Great Bend, with Father Prakash Kola presiding. Interment will be in Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at Bryant Funeral Home, with an Altar Society Rosary at 4 p.m., Daughters of Isabella Rosary at 6 p.m. and Vigil at 7 p.m. Memorials may be given to The Don and Lil Penka Scholarship Fund, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS  67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, May 25, 2022