By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SHARONVILLE - Teaching was more than just a job to Ethel Chandler Pennington. It was a weighty responsibility.
"She really took seriously the idea that teachers touch lives," said her son Eric, of Kenwood. "I know she would come home and she worried about some of the kids more than their parents did in some cases. It took a pretty big emotional toll on her to be a teacher - to be connected to and responsible for children during the day, and she had to let them go and not know what happened to them. That was always hard for her."
Mrs. Pennington, 63, taught second and fourth grades at Mercer and Newtown schools in the Forest Hills district for 36 years.
The Sharonville resident died Wednesday at Jewish Hospital. Her son said she had contracted pneumonia about a month ago and had a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Still, doctors don't know what caused her death.
Born in Rockholds in south-central Kentucky, Mrs. Pennington was salutatorian of her class at Whitley County High School. She spent two years studying at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky., then received a bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond in 1962.
There she met Bill Pennington - who would also become an educator. They married in 1970.
After they retired, the Penningtons dealt in antiques. Mrs. Pennington - who retired from teaching in 1998 - continued after her husband died in 2000. She ran booths at antique malls in Florence and Reading.
She also traveled with her sisters to Hawaii; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Canada.
In addition to her son Eric, survivors include another son, Derric of St. Paul, Minn.; four sisters, Mabel Manus and Lena Hill, both of Rockholds, Jane Mounce of Sharonville and Lee Walden of Evendale; and two brothers, Lloyd and David Chandler, both of Rockholds.
The funeral is 10:30 today at Nurre-Mihovk-Rosenacker Funeral Home, 10211 Plainfield Road, Evendale. Burial is at Rest Haven Memorial Park.
Memorials: Gorman Heritage Farm, Attention: Sandra Murphy, 3035 Gorman Heritage Farm Lane, Cincinnati 45241.
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