August 21, 1932 to May 19, 2022
Robert “Bob” Penharlow died on May 19, 2022, at his home in Dunkirk, surrounded by his family following a brief illness. He was 89 years old.
Respected and known as a thoughtful, kind and gentle soul, he touched the lives of many throughout his life well lived.
Born in Fredonia at the family’s Berry Street home, Bob joined his father’s auto parts business – Pen’s Parts – when he was just 13 years old. At age 16, while still attending Fredonia High School, he was made a partner in the business along with his brother. , Richard. Bob would finish the school day, 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 a bookkeeper for the company. 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 brother. With an uncompromising work ethic, Bob has grown the business with locations in Fredonia, Dunkirk, Silver Creek and Westfield. Auto repair shops, car dealerships and yard mechanics all knew they could count on Pen’s Parts for the parts they needed, delivered with unparalleled customer service. Bob marked nearly 50 years in business when he sold the business in 1996.
As if running a thriving business didn’t keep him busy enough, Bob also immersed himself in a life of public service. He served on active duty in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 at Fort Dix, NJ during the Korean War. Upon returning home, he joined his father and brother as a volunteer firefighter with Fenner Hose Company on Church Street in Fredonia. In fact, he lived in the fire station as a night volunteer upon his return and until his first marriage in 1957.
Bob has also put his talents and energy to work in local politics. He served on the Fredonia Village Board of Directors from 1968 to 1974, where he served on the Fire, Street, and Finance Committees and served as Deputy Mayor. In 1978, he was nominated to complete a term for a seat vacated by a former member of the Chautauqua County Legislative Assembly, and was reelected 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 member of the Fredonia Exempt Fireman Association as well as an active member of the Methodist Church of Fredonia. He was a municipal councilor for Dunkirk from 2007 until his death and was appointed deputy director in 2010.
Bob became a licensed real estate agent in 1997 and has helped countless families, individuals and businesses find homes throughout North Chautauqua. He has won numerous awards and recently represented Ho-ward Hanna Holt Real Estate in Fredonia.
No matter what role he played in the community, he always put his family first. Bob was happily married to Martha Penharlow who was his beloved partner in life for 33 years until the time of his death in March 2021. Bob and Martha were devoted to each other 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, Pennsylvania; son David (Lisa) Penharlow; three daughters by marriage: Julie (Ira) Rosenkrantz, Jill (James) Moore and Bethany (Richard) Spaziante; brother Roderick Penharlow of Pennsylvania; and his 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 DC, Jack Penharlow of Fredonia, Paul Arcoleo of San Diego and Emily Arcoleo of Manheim. , Pa. .; as well as six great-grandchildren; and his loyal companion, Penny.
Calling hours are Tuesday, May 24 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at LARSON-TIMKO Funeral Home, 20 Central Ave., Fredonia. Funeral services will be held at Fredonia First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St., Fredonia, on Wednesday, May 25 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredonia.
Memorial contributions in memory of Mr. Penharlow may be made to the Lakeshore Humane Society (lakeshorehumane society.org.)
Online condolences can be made at larsontimko funeralhome.com.
Arranged by David J. Dengler.