Penelope Binger
  • Born on: May 1, 1926
  • Departed on: June 1, 2008
  • Resided in:

Penelope Binger

Penelope Anderson Binger, 82, of 455 31st Street in Marion, died following a brief illness, Sunday June 1, 2008 at Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha. Services: Monday, June 23, 2008, 3:00 pm at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids. She is survived by her six children: Penny Brisson of Santa Clara CA; Ginna Himschoot (Robert) of Cedar Rapids; James Binger of Oakland CA; Elizabeth Binger (George Dowker) of Niantic CT; Paula Binger of Waterloo IA; and Julia Daugherty (Darren) of Cedar Rapids; her brother Frank Anderson (Dorothy) of Eugene OR; a niece Patricia Allard (Robert) of Marion; a nephew Keith Binger of Irving TX; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Penny was born on May 1, 1926 in Omaha NE to Frank and Penelope (Hamilton) Anderson. She attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon IA and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1946. She further attended the University of Iowa School of Religion from 1972-1976 and received her Masters of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley CA in 1985. Prior to attending seminary, Penny managed the Sanfords, Footnote and Walden bookstores in Cedar Rapids. She was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in November 1985 and was called to First Unitarian Church in Sioux City IA in 1986. Following her retirement in 1996, she was made Minister Emeritus and returned to live in Cedar Rapids. During her retirement, she served as part-time Administrative Assistant for the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County. Penny was very active in her community throughout her adult life, serving at the President of the Cedar Rapids branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and as the Vice President of the Iowa Division of AAUW. She was president of the Cedar Rapids Altrusa Club and Vice-Chair of the Linn County Republican Committee from 1955-1968. Appointed by Governor Robert Ray, Penny served five years on the Iowa Child Labor Committee. Appointed by Mayor Robert M.L. Johnson, she also served as Chair of the Cedar Rapids Commission on the Status of Women. While living in Sioux City, she continued serving her community as the President of AAUW, Chair of the Board of the Center for Women at Morningside College, Board member of the NAACP, and Board member of the local Planned Parenthood. Penny organized and chaired the Siouxland Diversity Council and organized a Siouxland Chapter of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union. As a member of the Board for the ICLU, Penny served as a plaintiff in the case against prayer at graduation in public schools. Penny incorporated and served as Vice-President/Secretary for the Unitarian Universalist Network for Process Theology from 1988-1999. In 1989, she was recognized with the Siouxland Women of Excellence Award. Upon returning to Cedar Rapids, Penny was president of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers'' Association of the Prairie Star District from 1997-1999. She served as the Legislative chair of the ICLU and was Co-President of the Hawkeye Area Chapter of the ICLU until 2004. She was a member of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue and, after much thought, prayer and discernment made the decision to convert to Judaism on January 23, 2004 when she became a member of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids. Cards in memory of Penny may be sent to: 3227 Riverpointe Circle NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411. Donations may be sent to Temple Judah, the Iowa Civil Liberties Union or the Mercy Hospice House. Arrangements are being handled by the Cremation Society of Eastern-Central-Western Iowa in Cedar Rapids. In addition to her large and loving family, the main passions in Penny''s life were the fight for Civil Liberties /ACLU, support for the drive to increase diversity and inclusiveness in our society, and working to improve the status of women. Online condolences may be left for the Binger family by clicking on "Sign Guestbook" below.
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