***You may view the live stream Friday on Facebook page @ecabilene or on the Emmanuel Church Youtube Channel.
Penni Dawn Britt-Heller
April 27, 1963 – January 10, 2022
A nurse on earth is now an angel in heaven.
Penni Dawn Britt-Heller, 58, died on January 10, 2022 at home in St. John, Kansas with her husband and family by her side.
Penni was born April 27, 1963 in Abilene, Kansas to Jean Ellen (DeWeese) Britt and Gerald Duane (Sonny) Britt. The youngest of four children, she grew up on the family farm once owned by her great grandparents in the Willowdale Township of the Talmage community. It was there that her love for animals and all things farm life were nurtured. That love grew even more after she married Bruce Heller, and they moved to his farm in St. John, Kansas.
She attended Talmage Grade School, Chapman Middle School, and Chapman High School, graduating in 1981, before continuing her education in nursing.
Penni began a long and dedicated nursing career in 1985 after graduating from Asbury School of Nursing in Salina and worked in hospitals, clinics, and home health in Manhattan, Salina, Junction City, Price, Utah; Alma, Nebraska; Norton, Salina, and Pratt, and served as a traveling nurse early in her career, serving in Dallas and Hawaii.
She loved teaching others the art of nursing and served as a clinical instructor for Colby Community College from 1999-2010, while also earning her BSN in Nursing from Fort Hays University in 2006. Her former students continue to express their love and gratitude for all she taught them, including the friendly and caring manner with which she cared for them and her patients.
As much as she loved nursing, she loved time spent with family even more. The vacations, campouts, birthday celebrations, family reunions and other events that brought family together were important to her. Penni was a constant energetic, fun-loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece. cousin and friend who loved to make everyone smile and laugh.
She is survived by her husband, Bruce Heller of St. John; son, Drew Britt and wife Brianna of Cave Creek, AZ; mother, Jean Britt of Abilene; sister Shawni (John) Sheets of Abilene; Rory (Deb) Britt of Abilene; and Shane (Toni) Britt of Kansas City.
Also surviving are stepsons, David (Veronica) Heller of St. John; Derrick (Weslea) Johnson of Everett, Washington on Aircraft Carrier Nimitz; stepdaughter Kelsey Coe of Houston, Texas; and grandchildren Annabelle and Kensington Britt; Sam, Jazlene, and Jade Heller; and Benjamin and Aubrey Johnson.
She is also survived by her special Little Sister, Gracie Dibble of Phillipsburg.
Penni was preceded in death by her father, Gerald Duane (Sonny) Britt; her maternal grandparents, V.P. and Georgia DeWeese; and paternal grandparents, Elvin and Lona Britt.
Along with her love of family and nursing, faith was an ever present and important part of Penni’s life. She wanted everyone to know that even though any of us may face adversities in life, we must still give God the glory and thank him. Never, throughout her entire cancer journey or life, did Penni feel that God left her. She hoped that because of her faith, she may have planted seeds in people to seek Christ.
The family invites you to help us celebrate Penni’s life, laughter, sense of humor, smile, the love she gave family and friends, and her never-ending faith during a celebration of life at Emmanuel Church in Abilene at 7 p.m. Friday, January 14 with Pastor Jon Griffith officiating. A second service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 15 at Trinity Community Church in Hudson, Kansas with Pastor Wade Russell officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Park Cemetery, St. John. Minnis Chapel, St. John, is in charge of arrangements.
To celebrate Penni’s love of helping others and her life-long love of reading, she requested her memorials be given to Care Beyond the Boulevard or to Talmage Library.