Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Second in Command Dies

Lt. Col. John W. Penree, 61, served in the Army for 43 years. (U.S. Army photo)
Lt. Col. John W. Penree, 61, served in the Army for 43 years. (U.S. Army photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The man who was second in charge at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story died in his home on base Tuesday, according to a news release.

Lt. Col. John W. Penree, 61, served in the Army for 43 years. Foul play is not suspected, base spokesman Spencer Layne said Thursday. A base memorial service will be scheduled for next week, he said.

"Lt. Col. Penree was an exceptional officer, a friend, a father, a husband and a man of faith," base commander Capt. Joey Frantzen said in an emailed statement. "He represented the heart and soul of our Army Component here at the Joint Base, whose breadth of experience, knowledge and personal demeanor truly elevated the professionalism in all of us. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten."

Penree, of Utica, N.Y., enlisted in 1974 at Fort Dix, N.J., and switched to the New York State Army National Guard in 1981. He received his commission as an ordnance officer in 1984 via Empire State Military Academy. He moved to active duty again in 1999.

Penree's deployments include Bosnia in 2000 and 2004; Afghanistan in 2002, 2010 and 2012; and Iraq from 2005 to 2006. He became deputy commander at Little Creek-Fort Story in April 2015.

Penree is survived by a wife and six children.

This article is written by Courtney Mabeus from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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