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Penelope Lautner

May 15, 1941 - May 2, 2020
Traverse City, MI


Life Story / Obituary


On Saturday, May 2, 2020, Penelope (Penny) Joy Lautner, mother of 4 passed away at the age of 78 due to compilations from Type 1 diabetes. Penny was born in Muskegon, Michigan the daughter of the late Fred and Helen Plaga.

Penny moved to Traverse City in 1966 and became involved in many volunteer programs including President of the T.C. Jaycees Auxiliary, over 40 years with the National Cherry Festival and started the first Red Hats group in Traverse City. She also was the first female board member voted into the Traverse City Elks club.

In 1970 Penny initiated the Munsy the Mouse program at Munson Medical Center after the death of her 2nd son Todd in 1969. This program helped young kids visiting the hospital to not be frightened to be in the hospital. She was also known as the Balloon Lady after creating Balloon-A-Cheer a delivery service of Balloons bouquets.

Penny loved New Orleans and visited many times for Mardi Gras and also had a love for Disney.

Penny is survived by her 3 children, Tammy (Jim) Sofonia , Tim Frederick and Tad (Tara) Lautner; grandchild, Sydney Frederick; Brother Richard (Nancy) Plaga and many nieces and nephews.

Penny was fortunate to have two nieces, Sharri Craft and Cindy Robertson who were always there for her in her final years.

Penny is preceded in death by her parents; son Todd; Aunts Myrtle Plaga and Violet Smith.

As a tissue donor, Penny gave the most precious gift anyone could give; the gift to help others.

A celebration of Penny’s life will be announced at a later date. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts and more.