Penny Parkinson, Laguna Beach resident since 1950, passionate artist, talented teacher, and singular friend, departed this earth for the Great Beyond.
A daughter of Ted and Mona Lyttle of Laguna, both deceased, Parkinson is survived by her life partner of 37 years, Christine Miller; her sister Nancy Hoyt; brother Teddy Lyttle; her extended family, and too many chosen family friends to mention.
Parkinson passed of natural causes without suffering under the gentle care of Granny’s Nursing Home in Laguna Niguel.
Parkinson was a champion of her special needs art students at Anaheim High School. She loved encouraging them and other students to use art as a medium of self-expression and to reach for new heights with their artistic talents.
Parkinson and Miller owned a home in the breathtakingly beautiful seacoast town of Stonington, Maine, and more recently ran a bed and breakfast there where Parkinson could pose as “The Laguna Charmer,” stroke her ukulele, and tell stories about her world travels. She made the Victorian house even more charming with her pen-and-ink drawings of the island and its lobster fishing trade. Parkinson was a member of the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival since its early years, exhibiting both watercolor paintings and later whirligig birds.
Parkinson was known for throwing fabulous dinner parties for the artist core in town. From the street you could hear guests laughing and partaking of the food, wine, and company. Guests on the deck enjoyed viewing Main Beach and sipping a cocktail while the sound of the waves provided the soundtrack for the hostess to spin her tales.
Parkinson was a dog lover extraordinaire. She was almost never without the company of a terrific Labrador retriever. Surely Josh, Jason, Lady, Jessie, et al., greeted Penny as a group at Rainbow Bridge as she crossed over. What a picture!
Parkinson loved to travel with a special teachers’ group and literally toured the world upon retirement. She also owned a home in Mexico, where she celebrated Easter and painted watercolors of the local churches.
Parkinson’s partner Miller now lives in Renton, Wash., with her daughter Laurie and loving grandchildren by her side.
A memorial service will be announced. Contributions may be made in memory of Parkinson to the Stonington United Methodist Church, PO Box 307, Stonington, Maine, 04681. Flowers may be sent to the service when announced (Parkinson loved flowers).
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference,” from “A Road Less Traveled,” by Robert Frost