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Breaking: Bob Penney, titan of Alaska civic life, has passed

By Suzanne Downing,


On March 14, 2023, Robert Clark Penney, 90, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family.

Bob had dedicated his life to his love for Alaska, the excitement of doing business, and most importantly, his family. His commitment to the great state and to sportfishing will be enjoyed by generations of Alaskans to come, his family wrote.

Bob Penney was the owner/broker of Penco Properties, an Anchorage based real estate brokerage company specializing in real estate investments, development, sales, and property management. He was born on May 3, 1932 in Portland, Ore. After graduating from high school, he relocated to Anchorage in 1951 to accept a position managing a lumberyard. In 1956 he began working in sales for Wade Trailer Sales. Building on this experience, he opened Penney Trailer Sales in 1959, specializing in used mobile homes. The company expanded into new mobile homes, RV’s, and construction camps for remote sites in the Alaskan bush. Through diligence and hard work, Penney Trailer Sales grew to become the largest mobile home dealer in the state of Alaska. Capitalizing on opportunities in the real estate market, Bob expanded to real estate investments and development through various partnerships and joint ventures. His development experience included single and multi-family residential projects, mobile home parks, commercial properties, retail buildings, and land development in nine western states and Mexico. He had numerous business interests and real property holdings in Alaska, Washington, California, Oregon, Arizona, Utah and Mexico.

The family requested privacy while grieving the loss of their husband, father and grandfather at this time and said memorial service details will be announced soon.

“Bob was a titan. Everything he did was for the betterment of his family and the state of Alaska. We are lucky that he advocated and pushed us all forward. We will miss him dearly. And as Bob would say, ‘God bless the Kenai!’” the family wrote in their notification of his passing to friends.

“I loved my grandfather, and I admired him deeply. He and I were very close, and I will work to continue his legacy of good works for Alaska,” said Clark Penney, his grandson.

Bob Penney’s long history of community involvement included:

-​ Anchorage Chamber of Commerce​

-​ Anchorage Economic Development Corporation

-​ Alaska Regional Hospital Board of Trustees

-​ Kenai River Sportfishing Association

-​ North Pacific Fisheries Management Council

He has held several leadership positions, some of which were:

-​ Vice President, Anchorage Organizing Committee (’92 & ’94 Winter Olympic Games)

-​ Chairman, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce

-​ Founding Co-Chair, Organization for Management of Alaska’s Resources (now Resource Development Council)

-​ Founder, Anchorage Mayor’s Charity Ball, Inc.

-​ Founder, Kenai River Sportfishing Association

-​ Founder, Kenai River Classic.

In later years, Bob and his wife split their time between their home, “River Presence” on the Kenai River in Soldotna, during the summer and their Vintage Club property in Indian Wells, Calif. for the winter months. They have four grown children, 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

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