Wednesday, Jun 26 2013 01:28 PM

Penelope “Penny” Lynn Walters Swenson, 1942-2013

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Penelope “Penny” Lynn Walters Swenson, 1942-2013

Penelope Lynn Walters Swenson died June 22 at Mercy Hospital.  She was 70 years old.  Services will be held on June 27 at 4 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tehachapi.

Daughter of Leon Lex Walters and Ruth Marie Walters, Penelope was born on December 27, 1942. She attended elementary school in Orland, Calif., and later attended junior high school in Woodland, Calif. Penelope then attended high school in Santa Clara and graduated in 1960. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1964. Penelope then earned her Master’s degree in Education, Anthropology at Claremont Graduate School in 1975. She completed her education with a Ph.D. in Education: Curriculum Leadership, Anthropology, Evaluation, Philosophy, and Teacher Education from Claremont Graduate School. Penelope married Terry Allen Swenson on March 2, 1966, at the Manti Temple in Manti, Utah.

A lifelong educator, Penelope taught for many years in both the elementary and secondary settings. These include Garey High School in Pomona, Mary B. Eyre Children’s School located at Claremont Graduate School, Pomona Psychiatric Hospital and Quincy Elementary School in Quincy, Calif., where she honed her teaching skills. She then moved on to become an assistant principal at Redondo Beach City School from 1974-1976. In 1976, she became the principal of Quincy Junior/Senior High School. In 1985, she moved on to become assistant superintendent in the Mojave Unified School District, where she served tirelessly for 15 years. There she was involved in curriculum development, technology, grant writing, ROP, BTSA, mentor program, ESL, and public relations, just to name a few.

Joining the CSUB School of Education (now the School of Social Sciences and Education) in 2000 as a professor, Penny became a highly respected and cherished teacher, mentor, guide, advocate and friend to students and faculty. Her contributions to the University during her tenure reflect not only the depth and breadth of her knowledge and scholarship but also her high ethical standards and her deep sense of social justice and humanity. She served the university community through the years in numerous positions, including chair of Advanced Studies in Education, faculty member of the Education Administration program, affiliated faculty of the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, coordinator of the curriculum and instruction program, and director of technology for the School of Education. She was also a 2011-2012 selection as a Google Fellow and as a CSU Digital Learning Ambassador, which enabled her to share her talents and enthusiasm with a wider audience. Penelope was also very involved in many committees and organizations, including but not limited to ACSA, CUE, Edvention, CCTE, ISTE, Kern County Advisory Council, CREATE and International Society for Technology in Education.

Penny was also an avid writer and combined her interests in education with her writing skills to write or co-write a total of nine books in the educational realm. She also had a hand in writing 25 articles or published academic papers. Penelope also served as an editor on four different projects.  She was a tireless academic who was in demand as a presenter and took part in over 70 different conferences. Her travels took her to many different venues, from San Diego to Wilmington, N.C., and Vancouver, British Columbia, to Auckland, New Zealand.

As busy as Penelope was with her professional career, she had other interests, as well. She was a very involved grandmother who attended as many of her grandchildren’s sporting events as she could and was very supportive in all their endeavors. Penelope was an avid yard sale attendee, as well as always searching for the best deal in many different venues. She was always up for a family road trip,and she always enjoyed having her family around her. Penelope was very involved with her church, and she served in many different church callings, including Relief Society president, primary president, Sunday school teacher, primary teacher and Relief Society teacher.
    Penelope is survived by her mother, Ruth Walters; her husband, Terry Allen Swenson; and her children, Maren Swenson, Kirsten Grimes, her husband (Mike Grimes), Soren Swenson, his wife (Alisa Swenson), Matthew Swenson, his wife (Cristina Swenson), Elizabeth Swenson, and Kathryn Heywood, her husband (Nathaniel Heywood).  She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Stephen Grimes, Hannah Grimes, Aaron Grimes, Cecily Heywood, Cordelia Heywood, Hyrum Swenson, Frederick Heywood, and Desmond Swenson. She was preceded in death by her father, Leon Walters; and her grandson, Phineas Heywood.
    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Perpetual Education Fund through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in remembrance of Penelope Swenson. Wood Family Funeral Service is handling the arrangements. For condolences, please visit

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