OBITUARY: Penny Elaine “Pen Pen” Athas

Penny Elaine (“Pen Pen”) Athas passed away on December 9, 2021, at the age of 64.  She died way too soon from COVID, just before she was set to retire and enjoy the fruits of her many years of tireless work.

Penny Elaine never had children of her own, but she was a mother to many. To know Penny was to love her and to know beyond doubt that she loved you. Despite working full time on her feet day after day at the TA truck stop in Big Spring, Texas (which was her beloved “work family”) and being the full time caretaker for her elderly parents, she always had time for everyone in her life. Time to talk to them, love them and make them laugh.  Penny was larger than life in every sense of the word. You couldn’t spend much time with Penny without falling into laughter together. But she was also the person for many with whom they could share their greatest sorrows. She was also that person with whom you could share your deepest secrets. Even if a person found it hard to love themselves from time to time, Penny’s love never faltered.

Penny is survived by her parents Pete and Eleanor Athas who were devastated by the loss of their “little girl.”  Sadly, her mother also succumbed to death as.result of Covid six days after Penny’s death. Penny is also survived by her sisters Phyllis Schultz and Wanda Wright and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews as follows: Lisa Calero, Soraja Lucinda Davis, Amber Alyson Train, Aaron Brandon Schultz, Joshua Michael Schultz,  Morgan Calero, Brandon Isaac Schultz, Ivory Elizabeth Schultz, Joshua Michael Schultz II, Lisa Schultz, Lucas Alexander Schultz, and Michael Ian Schultz.

And this is just her biological family. It would take a book to name the rest of those she considered and whom considered her family in this world. Penny grew up in Pikesville, Maryland and also lived in Delta, Pennsylvania and Marfa, Texas before settling in Big Spring. Although she died in Texas, her heart has always been at the ocean, where her remains will be scattered.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held on Sunday, December 19, 2021, at the Outdoor Pavilion behind the Dora Roberts Community Center located in the Comanche Trail Park, Big Spring, Texas. Those who wish to attend virtually can join via Zoom using the following information: ID 896 1364 2445, password 841175.

In lieu of flowers please honor Penny’s love of the ocean and animals by making a donation to “Sea of Change” at