Cecily H. Pennoyer, 93, died peacefully at her home in Essex on March 16 surrounded by her family. She grew up in Essex, the middle child of seven to Warwick and Elizabeth Henderson and graduated from Gloucester High School in 1945. She attended Bennington College in Vermont and later graduated with a master’s in art history from C.W. Post in Brookville, NY. In 1949 Cecily married Paul G. Pennoyer Jr, a decorated WWII Navy pilot, and they moved into the former stables of his childhood home in Locust Valley, NY. They lived there for over 60 years and created an idyllic setting for the raising of their five children along with numerous animals including horses, dogs, chickens, crows, and raccoons. Cecily lived a life of outdoor adventure, spending the summers walking and riding horses on Naushon Island and sailing the “Arabella” off the New England coast. She taught her children how to sail, ski, drive tractors, arrange flowers, raise bees, paint fences (and themselves), push their boundaries and be kind to all creatures. Cecily was considered the “most fun” mother by her children's friends and had a knack of always making something out of nothing whether it was for meals, outings, work, or play.
After her children grew up, she became more involved in her community and her interest in the arts. She wrote articles for the journal Artworld and was involved in the International Foundation for Art Research in New York City, Blunden Associates of London, the Board of the Nassau County Office of Cultural Development, the Long Island Community Trust, and the Hutton House Lectures at C.W. Post. She fulfilled her longstanding dream of forming her own company, creating distinctive garden pots cast from estate originals. She first worked out of an old squash court on their property to make molds of her in-law’s garden containers. The company exists today as Pennoyer Newman.
She is survived by her daughters, Jennifer P. Emerson of Concord, MA, and Deirdre P. Nadai of Essex and by three sons, Paul T. Pennoyer of Essex, Sheldon K. Pennoyer of Greenfield, NH and William M. Pennoyer of Frankfurt, Germany. Also surviving her are her brother-in-law, Robert M. Pennoyer of New York City, and two sisters, Deirdre Henderson of Manchester, MA and Jane H. Maynard of New York City and East Hampton, NY, and 10 grandchildren. In her memory, Cecily’s family suggested contributions be given to The North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary: www.nswildlifesanctuary.org , P.O. Box 214, Mill Neck NY 11765 or St. John’s of Lattingtown Episcopal Church: www.stjlat.org, 325 Lattingtown Rd, Locust Valley, NY 11560 . The family plans to have a memorial service this spring in Essex. Cecily will be buried with her husband in Locust Valley.