Mrs. Patricia Ann Evans, better known as "Penny", went on to be with the Lord on Friday, May 12, 2023, in Raymore, Missouri. She was born on Monday, October 13, 1958, and raised in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and for 44 of her 64 and a half years on this earth, she lived in the home she built with her husband, Donnie, on Burleson Lane in Murfreesboro. In addition to her husband, Donald "Donnie" Evans, Penny was preceded in death by her parents, Ronald LeRoy Stromgren and Shirley Marie Stromgren.
She is survived by her daughter, Selina (Lee) Hainley of Raymore, Missouri; brother, Randy Stromgren of Murfreesboro; sister, Barbara Chaffin of Readyville; stepmothers, Marie Stromgren of Murfreesboro; stepsisters, Annette Kemp of Murfreesboro, Nannette McElroy of Manchester, Sandi Loftis of Cleveland, Debbie Fann of Murfreesboro, and Pam Manus of Murfreesboro; uncles, Lamon Mayo of Smithville and Wayne Stromgren of Stranquist, Minnesota; aunt, Rachael Travis of Murfreesboro; and a host of friends and extended family.
Before Penny even finished school, she met and married the love of her life, Donnie, on Friday, December 5, 1975. The following year, Penny graduated from Oakland High School with the class of 1976, and she and Donnie proudly announced the birth of their bundle of joy, Selina Kay Evans, just a couple months later.
Selina's birth triggered the desire to give their family of 3 a house to turn into a home. Donnie and Penny got to work, and by the time Penny turned 20, they had built their house on Burleson Lane, where they would stay and make countless memories together for 44 years. Some of Penny's favorite memories revolved around using her God-given gifts.
A natural encourager and listener, Penny found her gifts best utilized in the hospitality industry. For 15 years, Penny served others as a waitress, but it was so much more than that to her. Her absolute favorite things in the world were to make people feel loved and to make sure they weren't hungry. Serving not only gave Penny the opportunity to accomplish those but also to encourage people and lend an ear to those just needing to find someone to listen. She loved it, she lived for it, and it suited her well. That servant heart didn't get left at the door of the restaurant though. She brought it home to her husband and daughter every day.
Everything Penny did, she did as if she was working for the Lord, which meant there was joy to be found and a melody to be sung. Being a lover of music, Penny had no issue cranking up the volume while she cleaned the house, dancing around as the Motown music drifted through the air. Selina remembers the road trips where Penny would scream at the top of her lungs singing her heart out. Fond memories revolve around Penny, with the help of her sister and aunt, pretending to be Diana Ross and the Supremes. Music on a beautiful summer night with the windows down cruising through Murfreesboro was one of her favorite past times.
With the laughs and lighthearted memories also come those where Penny demonstrated a depth and maturity beyond her years. Penny was a Christian and loved the Lord with all of her heart. She was born into a Lutheran family and then visited the Baptist church as well as the Catholic church. From those experiences, Penny formed the belief that if anyone could speak the Word according to the Bible, then she was pretty positive she could fit in wherever there was an empty seat.
Penny didn't have a spirit of division. She believed in community and unity with others and God, and being connected to others while she was out in nature was her favorite place to be. Her love for nature blossomed even more when she finally left her home on Burleson Lane. Penny moved out to Raymore, Missouri with Selina and Lee in the Fall of 2021. Sitting by the lake as the sun set while cooking out with her family and planting flowers at her new home in Raymore with all of the squirrels and birds surrounding her was where she always wanted to be.
Her family will lay her to rest next to the love of her life, but Penny has moved for the final time. John 14:2 says, "In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Penny has graduated from her earthly home and been reunited with Donnie. Though her family mourns her absence from them, they know it means she is in the presence of the Lord.
Visitation will be held at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 11-2 pm. Funeral services will follow at 2 pm in the Gentry-Smith Funeral Home chapel. Selina Hainley will officiate. Interment will be in Coleman Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary.
Share memories and condolences at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story.