Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 20, 2012
Helen Elich Penok

Obit Helen PenokJuly 21, 1915 – Dec. 14, 2012

We struggle to say good-bye to someone who had such an enormous influence on every life she touched. Our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and best friend passed away in her sleep on Dec. 14. She was born on July 21, 1915 to Croatian parents, Dan and Anna Serdar Elich, who had come to America. The family moved to Tooele in 1916. She was the oldest of five children and the only daughter. She loved telling stories of her childhood, such as being unable to speak or understand English on her first day of school, or when she rode the Tooele Valley Railroad train through town on her way home from school. She met John Penok (Perovsek) during the Christmas holiday in 1932. They eloped on Oct. 24, 1933. They were married at the Salt Lake County Courthouse and later at St. Marguerite Catholic Church in Tooele. They had one daughter, Jean. Helen had a love for her entire family, all her friends and her Croatian culture. She found joy in all she did, including her work at the Tooele Army Depot in the civilian personnel division. Her laugh brought happiness and a heart full of love. She lived a full life, including her legacy of independence until the end by dying in her own home. She will be missed by her daughter, Jean Mogus; granddaughters Karen (Gary) Rounds and Kathy Chambers (Tom VonHatten); grandson Michael Mogus (Therese Pitakis) of Salt Lake City; great-granddaughters Jennifer Rounds of Salt Lake City, Ashley Rounds of North Hollywood, Calif., and Kyra Chambers, nieces Janice Histon of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Nadine Riley of Santa Ynez, Calif.; many other nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law Carletta Elich and Mary Elich. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers Anton (Margaret) Elich, Joe Elich, Martin Elich and Nick (Vida) Elich. The family of Helen Penok would also like to acknowledge Vida Dickerson and the personnel lunch bunch, Lucy Chuculate, Danielle Stephenson, Mary Maestas and Barbara Simmonds. She was blessed with such good neighbors her entire life, especially the late Gerald Gordon. Funeral services will be held at St. Marguerite Catholic Church, 15 S. Seventh St. in Tooele on Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite charity in Helen’s name or take a friend out to dinner. Grandma Great, because of you we will all smile a bit brighter, laugh louder, enjoy life a little more and be grateful for every moment we were able to enjoy your beauty, grace and joy. Pocivao u miri. Laku noc.

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