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Ronald Lee Pennington

Abingdon, Virginia


With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, Ronald Lee Pennington, who departed from us on Friday, February 23, 2024. He was surrounded by his devoted wife, sons, and daughters-in-law, enveloped in their love and care until his final moments.


Ron was born into the hardworking coal mining family of Luther and Louise Pennington of Matoaka, WV, and his life was a testament to unwavering dedication, compassion, and tireless commitment to those around him. In his youth, Ron met the love of his life, Frances “Renie” Irene Pennington. They walked life’s path together for nearly six decades, rarely spending a day apart, and were blessed with three sons, Ron, Shannon, and Brandon. Ron cherished his family and friends deeply, particularly his brothers Larry and Michael, with whom he shared an unbreakable bond, serving as a testament to the importance of family throughout his life.


Ron's life exemplified honesty and hard work and his willingness to lend a helping hand knew no bounds. From his humble beginnings in the coal mines, he ascended to become a champion for mine safety, serving as a federal mine safety inspector for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for over thirty years. His contributions were pivotal, including his involvement in planning the MSHA Building in Richlands, VA. Upon his retirement, Ron remained closely connected with numerous former coworkers, demonstrating genuine care and concern for their well-being. Many of them remained dear to his heart until his final days.


Beyond his career in mine safety, Ron's entrepreneurial spirit led him to ventures in real estate, where he excelled as a sales agent and personally crafted two magnificent homes for his family. His altruism extended to constructing a small subdivision in Tazewell, VA, with the help of his friend and business partner, Dolores Crouse, and providing comfortable homes for both his mother and brother. Along the way, he tirelessly assisted numerous families in finding their dream homes during his twenty-five years of dedicated service at Jones & Associates Realty in Abingdon, VA, forging lasting friendships with coworkers and clients. He was determined to spare his sons from the hardships of the mines, ensuring they had access to higher education without financial burden.


In leisure moments, Ron found solace in the simple joys of life—boating on the calm waters of South Holston Lake with family and friends, cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, basking in the sunlight on his porch with a cat snuggled peacefully in his lap, or cruising in his antique ’65 Mustang. Ron is survived by his son, Ronald Hughes Pennington & daughter-in-law Elisabeth Pennington; son, Brandon Shea Pennington & daughter-in-law Miki Pennington; wife, Frances Irene Pennington; and brother, Michael Pennington. He was preceded in death by his loving parents Luther and Louise Pennington, brother, Larry Pennington, and son, Shannon Pennington. His memory will forever be cherished by those who were grateful to know him, and his legacy of love, compassion, and selflessness will continue to live on in the hearts of those he touched.


The family will announce plans for a celebration of life at a later date to honor his memory with family and friends.


Frost Funeral Home and Cremation Services is honored to be serving the Pennington family.


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