Englewood leader Randy Penn dies after suffering stroke

Coach, teacher, mayor, chamber director left outsized imprint on community

Former Englewood educator, mayor and chamber director Randy Penn — “Coach Penn” to generations of the Englewood Schools community — died Thursday with his family at his side, the school district announced Friday. He was 71.
Penn, a towering, mustachioed figure known for his twinkling eyes and his four decades of devotion to the schools and city of Englewood, died a few days after suffering a stroke, said an announcement by Englewood Schools Superintendent Wendy Rubin.
Penn began teaching in Englewood Schools in 1981 and remained with the district until 2008, where he coached sports including football, swimming and track. He served as Englewood's mayor from 2011 through 2015 and then moved into leadership of the Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce before retiring in spring 2019.
Penn also was known for his exuberant holiday displays each December outside his home a few blocks from Englewood High School.
“Our hearts go out to his wife Debbie, and his daughters Marcy Carlile, Kelly Prien (Matt) and Megan Walcott (Mike), as well as the rest of his family and loved ones,” Rubin wrote.
As word of Penn's death spread through Englewood on Friday, many residents shared their memories and grief in social media posts. Commenters referred to him as “Mr. Englewood,” “a great man,” “a great guy to talk to,” “an inspiration” and “an Englewood legend.”
One woman wrote: “I am heartbroken over this. He made such a huge impact in my life during some of the hardest years of my life. He will be so dearly missed! I used to love driving by his house during Christmas just to yell out the window that he did it again, best light display in Englewood. RIP Coach.”
A memorial scholarship fund page established by the Penn family says a celebration of life for “Coach Penn” will be held next spring.
Penn's family is requesting that any gifts in Penn's honor be made through the scholarship fund, so that he “will forever be associated with impacting others in a positive and loving way.” 


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