Dorothy Pennick "Penny" Mattice (November 26, 1924 April 17, 2017) – WWII veteran, army wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, professor, writer, artist, director and force of nature. She lived all over the world, had a wicked sense of humor and was an exceptional storyteller.
Penny was born November 26, 1924 in Los Angeles, CA to Ronald Jack Pennick and Nona Lorraine Pennick. She was raised by her grandparents, who were Vaudeville actors, and lived with them in many states, most notably California, Texas and Michigan. Penny worked as a court reporter for the Air Force before enlisting in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve. After the war, she worked as a liaison officer in Frankfurt, Germany where she met her husband, Matt, an Army officer. They married In 1950, and Matt's assignments kept their family moving throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. They eventually settled in Johnson City, TN, where Matt retired from the Army and Penny began her career at King College. Matt and Penny shared a full and loving life together until Matt's death in 2003.
Penny was Professor Emeritus at King College in Bristol, TN, where she chaired the Fine Arts Department and taught Art History, Theater and Studio Art. The college honored her by naming the campus art gallery the Penny Gallery.Following her retirement, she continued her creative pursuits as a writer, painter, sculptor and teacher. Penny moved to Ardenwoods in Arden, NC in 2007, where she shared her love of theater and writing as founder of the Rocking Chair Reader's Theater Group.
Penny was devoted to her family, creating lifelong memories and traditions including hosting Thanksgivings at her home in Johnson City to summers at Edisto Island, SC. Family gatherings always included delicious food, friendship, love and laughter. Her grandchildren lovingly referred to her as "Nana," and her great grandchildren especially enjoyed listening to her tell stories. No matter the age of the child, Penny had a particular gift for making all her loved ones feel important, special and heard - teaching through example that above all else, there is nothing more important than family.
Preceded in death by her husband, Col. Edson Russell Mattice (Matt), Penny is survived by her three children, Peter Mattice and his wife, Bea, Nora Mattice Day and Mark Mattice and his wife, Sandra; eight grandchildren, Jessica Day Saltalamachea, Tiffany Mattice Kinnaird, Chris Mattice Moss, Kathleen Day Malley, Stephen Mattice, James Mattice, Edson Day, and Evan Mattice as well as seven great grandchildren, Harding and Shelby Kinnaird, Riley, Gardner and Emma Ann Moss, Mackenzie Malley, and Margaret Pennick Saltalamachea.
A drop-in celebration of Penny's life will be held Saturday, April 22 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Ardenwoods Club House (2400 Appalachian Boulevard, Arden, NC 28704). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the King University Guild Theatre Fund (1350 King College Road, Bristol, TN 37620).
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.