Elaine M. Penkava

Elaine M. Penkava

December 24, 1942 – January 21, 2021


Elaine Penkava passed away on January 21, 2021 in Omaha, NE.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Lorraine Vondra.  She is survived by her husband, Loren E.Penkava; two sons, Scott and Todd; daughter-in-law, Heather; and two grandsons, Drake and Ethan.

Born and raised in the Omaha area, Elaine graduated from Omaha South High School and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  Following college, she worked as a third grade teacher in the Omaha Public School District for 35 years.  She loved her profession and her students and was an outstanding role model for young minds as well as others.

Elaine was as an active member of the Presbyterian Church of the Cross since the early eighties and served as a Deacon, an Elder, and a proud member of the church choir.  She also spent much of her time devoted to the worthwhile causes of the Omaha Assistance League and Nebraska P.E.O organizations.

She was a true dog lover and appreciated the company of several furry friends over the course of her life always finding the puppy in most need of love and care.  An avid reader, Elaine collected hundreds of books with favorites from James Patterson, John Grisham and Sandra Brown.  You’d be hard-pressed to find her without one.

She wasn’t a great traveler, but she managed, preferring destinations like San Francisco, Alaska, Florida and New York.  She loved simple food at local establishments and was always quick to recommend Round the Bend for broasted chicken, Sortino’s for pizza, and Dinkers for a great burger.

Elaine touched the lives of all those around her and went out of her way to make people feel welcomed and special.  She was loved by many and will be missed by all since she has left us to go home to God.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Omaha Assistance League or the Omaha Humane Society.

Private Family Service: Thursday, January 28th at 11am at the West Center Chapel.  To view a live broadcast of the Service, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the home page.


  • Jerry and Kathy Valasek Posted January 23, 2021 6:40 pm

    Thoughts and prayers as you morn Elaine’s passing. She was such a wonderful volunteer for the Assistance League of Omaha. She will be greatly missed.

  • Claudia Pope Posted January 24, 2021 12:36 pm

    I knew Elane for many years and enjoyed our conversations. I knew her at the salon and we were in ALO together.

  • Noelle Upah Posted January 24, 2021 2:27 pm

    We continue to be so sad and prayers for Lauren, Scott, Heather and Todd during this difficult time.

  • Noelle Upah Posted January 24, 2021 2:34 pm

    We loved Elaine so much!!! Prayers are with Loren during this difficult time.

  • Jackie Upah Posted January 24, 2021 8:53 pm

    Elaine was the sister I never had. I will miss her so much .


  • Jackie Upah Posted January 24, 2021 9:17 pm

    Elaine was the sister I always wanted and didn’t have. I will miss her.

  • Tim and Heather Safieh Posted January 24, 2021 11:34 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We will miss Elaine’s wonderful loving heart and beautiful smile! She was an amazing lady, so fun to be around and always welcoming. Her love for her family and friends was bar none. We were truly blessed to have known and loved her. Hugs.
    Tim and Heather

  • Irene Astleford Posted January 26, 2021 9:44 am

    She will be missed.

  • Kent and Shirley Miller Posted January 27, 2021 4:12 pm

    Loren, we were so sorry to hear of your loss of Elaine. We are praying for God’s comfort for you and your family.

  • Christine Powers Posted January 27, 2021 9:02 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  • Linda Denman Posted January 28, 2021 10:25 am

    For me Elaine was a new teacher with a new gold Valiant and lots of energy, she was a backseat travel partner with a large melted Hersey bar between us,, she was the cousin who went to Disneyland with my brother and I got a turtle as a consolation gesture. Elaine was my guide to Omaha., and the one who gave me some history in knowing and understanding the rest of the Baldwin family. . She was even the one that gave me a new love for San Francisco and the ocean whenever she came to California. She was joyful and loving and loyal. We didn’t see each other often but I always felt close to Elaine. Penkava family, I am sorry for your loss.

  • Barbara L MacNeill Posted January 28, 2021 11:02 am

    We will miss our dear P.E.O. sister, her beautiful smile, and bubbly personality.

  • Mary-Alice Hurlburt Posted January 28, 2021 11:40 am

    Elaine was fun. Her laugh cheer us up. What a lovely person!

  • Melissa Stolinski Posted January 28, 2021 7:44 pm

    Elaine was this bright, beautiful, spit-fire and I knew I liked her the moment we met. She was so full of energy and love of life. We are all better for having been touched by Elaine.
    We hit the jackpot to have Penkava’s as neighbors. Sending all our love for Loren, Todd, Scott and the family

  • Mary Vondra Posted January 29, 2021 10:28 am

    Loren, I am so sad to hear of Elaine’s death. Too soon. Too soon. II know how lonely you must feel. Hang onto all your memories . Love, Mary

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