Robert Lee Penharlow
Aug. 21, 1932 to May 19, 2022
Robert “Bob” Penharlow passed away May 19, 2022, at his home in Dun-kirk, surrounded by his family following a brief ill-ness. He was 89.
Respected and known as a thoughtful, kind and gentle soul, he touched the lives of many throughout his well-lived life.
Born in Fredonia at his family’s home on Berry Street, Bob joined his father’s automotive parts business – Pen’s Parts – when he was just 13. By 16, while still attending Fredonia High School, he was named a partner in the business along with his brother, Richard. Bob would finish the school day and then go to work in the parts store at 75 W. Main St. Homework was often done in a back room while he worked as bookkeeper for the business. He graduated from Fredonia High School in 1950.
Soon, the brothers took over the business from their father and eventually Bob bought out his older sibling. With an uncompromising work ethic, Bob grew the business with locations in Fredonia, Dunkirk, Silver Creek, and Westfield. Auto repair shops, car dealerships, and backyard mechanics all knew they could count on Pen’s Parts for the parts they needed, delivered with customer service second to none. Bob marked nearly 50 years in business when he sold the company in 1996.
As if running a thriving business didn’t keep him busy enough, Bob also immersed himself in a lifetime of public service. He served active duty in the U.S. Army from 1953-55 at Fort Dix, N.J., during the Korean War. Upon his return home he joined his father and brother as a volunteer fireman with Fenner Hose Company on Church Street in Fredonia. In fact, he lived in the firehall as the overnight volunteer upon his return and until his first marriage in 1957.
Bob also turned his talents and energy to local politics. He served on the Village of Fredonia Board of Trustees from 1968-74, where he was on the Fire, Street, and Finance Committees and was deputy mayor. In 1978, he was named to finish a term for a seat left vacant by a previous member of the Chautauqua County Legislature, and was re-elected to a second term. He was a past president of the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the Fredonia Rotary Club, a life-long member of the Fredonia Exempt Fireman Association as well as an active member of the Fredonia Methodist Church. He served as a Town of Dunkirk Councilman from 2007 until the time of his death and was named deputy supervisor in 2010.
Bob became a licensed real estate agent in 1997 and helped countless families, individuals and businesses find residences throughout North Chautauqua. He earned numerous awards and most recently represented Ho-ward Hanna Holt Real Estate in Fredonia.
No matter the role he played in the community, he always placed his family first. Bob was happily married to Martha Penharlow who was his beloved partner in life for 33 years until the time of her death in March of 2021. Bob and Martha were devoted to one another and enjoyed their beautiful life together on the lake, sharing a love of Sunday family dinners, gardening and maintaining their lovely home.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Deborah Arcoleo of Manheim, Pa.; son David (Lisa) Penharlow; three daughters through marriage: Julie (Ira) Rosenkrantz, Jill (James) Moore, and Bethany (Richard) Spaziante; brother Roderick Penharlow of Pennsylvania; and sister Peggy Card of Fredonia. He also leaves behind six grandchildren: Tiffany Yerico of Fredonia, Olivia (Ted) Widger of Havertown, Pa., and Allis-on Muck of Washington D.C., Jack Penharlow of Fredonia, Paul Arcoleo of San Diego, and Emily Arcoleo of Manheim, Pa.; as well as six great-grandchildren; and his faithful companion, Penny.
Calling hours are Tuesday, May 24, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the LARSON-TIMKO Funeral Home, 20 Central Ave., Fredonia. Funeral services will be held at the Fredonia First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St., Fredonia, Wednesday, May 25 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredonia.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Penharlow’s memory may be made to the Lakeshore Humane Society (lakeshorehumane society.org.)
On-line condolences may be made at larsontimko funeralhome.com.
Arrangements by David J.Dengler.