Nat Penton dies at age 93

(Editor’s Note–Doyle “Nat” Penton, local businessman, entrepreneur and aviation enthusiast passed away Sunday, June 30, at the age of 93.)

Doyle “Nat” Penton was born in Sweetwater, Texas on Jan. 13, 1926 and passed away on Sunday, June 30, 2019 at the age of 93.

After graduating from high school, he served two years in the U. S. Air Force. Following his service in the Air Force, he attended the University of Texas where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. Nat’s parents had moved to DeQuincy and built a sawmill, Penton Lumber Company, east of town so after graduating from college, Nat and his wife, Fay, moved to DeQuincy where he went to work with his father. From there, Nat and his former college friend, Dudley P. South, a geologist, went to work in the oil and gas exploration. Nat hired a seismic firm to map southwest Louisiana, purchased equipment from Union Oil, and Penton & Penton Oil & Gas was formed.

Another part of Nat and Dudley’s business endeavors was the purchase of an apartment complex in Lake Charles, Claire Gardens Apartments, which is still in operation today.

As the need for convenience stores developed, Nat and partners opened Dandy Dan’s of DeQuincy which was the beginning of a small chain of convenience stores.

Nat’s interest in aviation led him to get involved in a hobby, building and flying radio controlled airplanes. He worked to improve aeronautical design and developed his own style airplane making lightweight models with balsa wood. Throughout the years, he built many model airplanes, competed in events, and judged contests throughout the nation. He also was a contributor to hobby magazines offering support with technical information. He was an active member of LARKS (Lake Area Radio Kontrol Society) which began in 1968.

He is survived by his son, Bobby Doyle Penton and wife, Valerie of Kerrville, Texas and Penny Penton Blackburn and husband, Charles “Bubba” Blackburn of DeQuincy; five grandchildren, Jack Penton, Michael Penton, Dr. Bethany Goldblum, Brooke Blackburn, Steve Blackburn and wife, Marissa; and six great-grandchildren, Talon Ashworth, Asher Blackburn, Baylor Blackburn, Ryley Blackburn, Kash Goldblum and Sage Goldblum.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Fay Penton; and parents, Elton Doyle Penton and Ruth Irene Penton.

Johnnie Ruth Henagan began working at the Penton Lumber Company in 1956. She continued working through 2014 and remains a paid business consultant with Penton & Penton Oil & Gas. Her loyalty, integrity, spirit of excellence and dedication will always be valued and remembered by the family.

The family would also like to recognize the tremendous blessing Francis Maddox has been to Nat for the past few years. Her gentle, soft spoken nature and her kind, caring ways will always be remembered and appreciated.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 5, at Riley Smith Funeral Home in DeQuincy. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 6, at the funeral home. Rev. Rolly Walker will officiate. Interment will follow at Perkins Cemetery in DeQuincy.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Grace Church, Post Office Box 398, DeQuincy, LA 70633.

Arrangements are being handled by Riley Smith Funeral Home, 1810 W. Fourth St., DeQuincy.

(Paid Memorial)