Emily Pennypacker, a resident at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler Pa., may be a familiar name to residents of Glenside, Pa. She founded Penny’s Flowers in Glenside, which has been in business for more than 70 years.
Emily has lived at Artman for more than eight years. Her apartment is decorated with pictures of her family, and her 12 grandchildren can be seen in frames and in collages on the walls. Above the TV is a painting of the house in Glenside that Emily lived in for 52 years. The painting, which shows the house decorated with Christmas lights, was painted for Emily by her son. Emily’s son used to walk by the house every day on his way to school while it was still being built. He always said that he would like to live there someday, never imagining that he would.
Emily married her husband in 1936 at age 18, and they opened their flower shop a couple years later. “I took a train to Philadelphia for three weeks to learn how to be a florist,” Emily said. Her husband did not have to go into the service because he had a family and owned a business, but he did have to work the night shift at a war factory in Jenkintown. He would sleep for a couple hours, then work in the flower shop during the day. Emily also juggled working at the flower shop with raising two children. “We worked all night,” she said. A true family business, Penny’s Flower’s is now operated by her children.
At Artman, Emily enjoys knitting. She knits caps for the newborns at Abington hospital. She also enjoys reading and doing puzzles, and has a large puzzle that she is working on in her apartment. “I’m very pleased, everyone here tries to do as much as they can for me,” she said. “This place is great, if you have to move someplace I’d suggest here.”