G. Larry Penrose

As a scholar he explored the fabled history of our world. As a professor at Hope College, he inspired the eager minds of generations. As a naturalist, you could often find him stream-side in the splendor of a fly hatch. It is with sadness that we report that G. Larry Penrose passed away peacefully on February 22, 2023 in Rathdrum, Idaho. He was 82 years old. Larry was born February 13, 1941 in McMinnville, Oregon to George and Lynn Penrose.

Larry attended Tigard High School in Tigard, Oregon and graduated from the Tehran American School in Tehran, Iran in 1959. He joined the US Army and studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute and served in Japan. After his service, he enrolled at Portland State University in Oregon, and studied Russian and Middle East Studies. He married classmate Arlene Matson in 1965, and they both graduated in 1966. Larry received grants from Indiana University in Bloomington to pursue his postgraduate studies. They moved to Bloomington where he completed coursework and dissertation preparation in Uralic-Altaic Studies.

In 1970, he was ready to teach. He applied only to colleges close to premier fly-fishing streams, and one of those was the Au Sable in Michigan. The History Department at Hope College extended an offer, and the Penroses moved to Holland, Michigan where Larry began his career. He was granted a year sabbatical in 73-74 to go to Tashkent, Uzbekistan to research Abulgazi, 17th century Khan of Khiva, and was awarded his doctorate from Indiana University in 1975.

Dr. Penrose directed the Japanese Summer Program at Hope for 3 years, led a student study trip to Jerusalem, and then regularly organized and led students to the Great Lakes College Association’s semester abroad programs in Krasnodar, Russia. He retired from Hope College in 2005 and moved to Prineville, Oregon.

Larry was a part-owner of Les Cheneaux Landing in Cedarville, MI. He loved being in the UP with his faithful dog Jebe as he worked alongside Mark and Esther Engle to bring a family summer resort back to life.

Larry is survived by his children, Liisa (Balzar) and Geoff, son-in law John Balzar, his former spouse and forever friend Arlene (Matson Clark); granddaughter Gracie Balzar; and grandson Gus Penrose; sister Nancy Penrose, brother-in-law David Muerder, brother-in-law Pierre Sundborg, and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by former spouse Laurie Engle VanEenenaam and her children, Katie (Carpenter) and Kyle VanEenenaam. Larry was predeceased by his sister, Jean (Sundborg).

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