1965 Halls of Buena High School.
A time when surf was up, homework last minute, Volkswagons cool, Foster Freeze a happening, dress codes really existed and “bitch’n” was the in teen talk.
Sandy, Penn and Kaye, 1985
Visit Penn’s website at:
This page was contributed  Kaye Chandler.

Penn’s classmates share their moments and send their love…..

“I just had this thought -

What a crazy time heaven is going to be now that Roper Penn" has arrived.God will certainly have his hands full.”

Steve Tobias

Quote written by Penn from my 1965 Yearbook: 
“…….Keep having fun because it is the only was to go.This is not the end,Roper Penn”
Most of us have no idea where the nick-name “Roper” came from, but I always remembered and found it interesting that “Penn” actually was named after the famous pioneer Quaker “William Penn”.Funny, how we remember such trivia from our youth.
Penn was someone you always wanted for a friend.He had a way of finding humor, where sometimes is didn’t seem to exist.He could laugh at himself as quickly as he could laugh with others.
Penn and I truly became good friends during our senior year when we sat next to each other in Mr. Stite’s drama class. Penn was at his finest in theatre.As this was a drama class, we all were required to “act” or perform on stage, memorizing various scenes from plays.Well of course Penn was hardly one to take time “memorizing” any scene…..he had his own “play”.
Penn would stand on stage, and proceed to “act out” a very funny scene from a supposed script he had at home.Of course Mr. Stites, or anyone for that matter had never heard of a play called; “The Rogues”.But Penn’s play was so unique and creative, Mr. Stites let the show roll on.This continued for the entire year, Penn’s newly created dramas, and Mr. Stites requesting a copy of the original play after each performance. We all knew the truth, Penn wrote, directed and ad-libbed “The Rogues”and Mr. Stites never got a copyof the play.It was great, nobody cared!
Late summer of 1964, a local scandal hit all the southern California newspapers, as witnesses saw a “drive-by” shooting of Buena student Buster Brown.The then “innocent” victim was swept off the ground and immediately hoisted into a blue VW bug, whisked away – could that blue bug have been the one and only “Roper’s”?The next day members of the senior football team were temporarily suspended as a result of the prank.One witness screamed and fainted.In those days Ventura did not have drive-by shootings! 

Penn was smart, real smart.While the rest of us would study hours for upcoming tests, Penn would fan the book, ask a couple of questions and get an “A”.I always had to study just to get a B. Bummer.

During our senior year, Penn’s Parents often left on lecture tours (both his parents were world famous psychologists – this I learned only when my college psychology Professor would often quote Dr. & Dr. Goertzel”).But….as the saying goes; “while the cats away, ………”.Penn’s parent free house was party central – not outlandish, but Sunday mornings the place was filled with empty beer cans (ok so beer is not that wild by today’s standards). It was a nice place to cruise by on a weekend.

Another quality of Penn’s was that he was a good listener.He was someone to talk to, and someone who would listen.He was kind to others.I don’t recall him ever speaking poorly of someone else.Often he showed compassion unique to “teenagers”.

Penn did manage to attend our 1985 class reunion, the first time in 20 years we all had a chance to talk to him and renew valued friendships.I never personally spoke to him again.We began an e-mail friendship early in the summer of 2000.I was working on our 35 year class reunion.Penn really wanted to attend – it was important.He planned up to the last couple of weeks, but his health dictated otherwise.I treasure every e-mail he sent. He still had the wonderful capacity to write with flair, and make you feel special.

Penn, you truly are missed. The legacy you left behind, will continue to enrich the world of others.

We love you,

Kaye Chandler

Dear Fellow Buena Graduates: 
What a loss to all of us.
Penn was a conscience for our class and truly did hear a different drum, I think.I even remember him from Anacapa days and was in awe of that independence I could see even as he sauntered down the sidewalk to school with his hands in his pockets. 
I remember Penn with his young face and healthy body and I know God has returned him to that beautiful condition. 
Thanks to his family for adding their son to our youthful lives.We share in your sorrow but add the remembrances of young Penn's high school years to our own memories and offer our promise to take joy in them. 
A classmate who remembers,

Having to give up someone we love is never easy.No matter how good life has 
Been or how fond the memories, the time is never enough.
Initially we are overwhelmed by the loss, and only after the grief has eased are we able to 
Find comfort in how much we gained from the years we had together.
With sympathy,
Bennett Oppenheim

So sorry to hear this news. I started thinking about my life as a young "foolish" (but fun) teen and some of the good times I had with Penn.
The parties at the house on the hill overlooking the ocean, the road trips Penn, Curt, and I took in the Volkswagen "bug" Penn owned.Some really fun memories.
At this point in my life I most regret not keeping in touch with old friends and even family.In retrospect, I admire Penn for all the friends he had, he will surly be missed.The part of the e-mail that really touched me was about Sandy and Penn always being
there for one another.I always thought Sandy was a very special person.

Just got the news I never wanted to hear. If only he could have made the reunion. I would have given anything to see Penn one more time. 
My first introduction to Penn:
We were at Anacapa Junior High, during lunch, and I was in a arm wrestle with some kid I don't remember, and wasn't doing very good, so Penn steps in and shows me how to lock your elbow, etc. About this time the table we were using fell apart and Penn and I fell to the concrete: well about this time Mr. McFadden shows up and thinks we are in a fight and hauls us off to the office. The only question they kept asking me was, "why do they call him Roper Penn"??? 
The school thought he was some kind of girl romancer and wanted to know the connotation behind "Roper" I'm not sure if I ever really knew the definition of Roper!!!!!!!!!! That could be a good line for the Book!!
If you see Sandy, please tell her how sorry I am and give her a big hug for me. 
Love you lots! 
Dave Woolley

I am sooo sorry .Penn must have had to fight hard these past years.Hopefully his pain is over and he can help all of us who loved him to deal with the loss of having him around. 
Cathy Staab Schlim

It is truly hard to believe that the "Roper" is gone.He was such a fun loving guy that we all loved for who he was and for his approach to life. 
The time is passing quickly, so we should all enjoy each and every day.
When I got the news, I was deeply sadden and yet I have not seen Penn in so many years.
The bonding that took place at Buena in those early year was extremely special and his passing presents a reality that is not necessarily pleasant - a reality that the end is closer than we want to believe.
May God comfort his family during this difficult time. 
I just had this thought -what a crazy time heaven is going to be now that Roper Penn" has arrived.God will certainly have his hands full.
Thanks again.
Steve and Roxann

To All,
I was very sad to hear about Penn.I did not know him well, personally, but I remember his shy smile.And I remember how much fun he had in class with his pals, and again that shy smile.Those are the kinds of memories that stand out about high school.I will be writing his family to let them know
how sorry I am for their loss.
Judy (Schmitz) Sandusky

Thanks for the news on Penn. I got in touch with him after many, many years thru the reunion you guys put on. We e-mailed severaltimes and he told me his story which was all new to me of course. 
I can never think of him without thinking of Sandy and of Glenn. 
Seems those three would be somehow together forever. 
Please tell Sandy how sorry I am for her. She and Penn had a special relationship for most of their lives. I'm sure it's hard for her. 
Thanks again,
Frank Baird

Just returned to the office to receive your sad news. I knew from Sandy that things were difficult, but did not anticipate this result
I told Sandy that it is so strange, that on the 18th I was folding laundry from Krista and Kara's (granddaughters) visit, and as I was folding one of the beach towels, I was thinking about how
it was a wedding gift from Penn in 1965. It was a good one, and has held up nicely. I still have some albums autographed by "Roper Penn," which will mean even more, now.
Thanks so much for letting me know; I will send a card along to Penn's family.

Penn's death is so sad. I really thought he would make it you know. He was a sweetheart. He had e-mailed me once last year and sounded pretty hopeful about everything! 
Hugs, Karolyn

Thanks. My heart goes out to you in the loss of your friend, Penn. Hewas such a talented person who touched many lives; even mine from so long ago.
Kathy Hawkins

Such sad news and he was so young. I didn't know Penn well in school.The reason he stands out in memory was his friendliness -- not just to those in his circle of friends, but to everyone.At our ages then, that was really a gift.
Sue Stevens

I was so very sad...yet, also having not been real close in high school but having communicated with Penn "after" the reunion that we both missed,I was aware of his need for the transplant and I feel very
Adios mi amigo, 

It was so sad to get the news about Penn. I remember him as always being such a nice person and so kind to everybody.
How true that we take our lives so much for granted and it takes a death of a friend for us to stop and realize how precious life is.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Penn's family and friends.
Pati Kittle

I am so sorry to read about.I was not close to him in school, but everyone knew of him because of this great personality, good looks and somewhat risque behavior.
I learned about his health problem at the Class Reunion last year and like everyone else there, wished and hopedfor the best.
The old saying is right, "you think you have problems untilyou hear about someone else's".
Please give his family and close friends my sincere sympathy. Love, 

Thought I'd pass along something we have used in the past and have found helpful when thinking of someone's passing.
"By remembering, we keep what is precious and most special as treasures in our hearts forever".
To me, it means that although a person may physically no longer be with us, by remembering the good times, the details of life with that person, they don't seem so far away and it gives a warm and fuzzy to remember the fun and happy times.
Bill & Martha

Penn's biggest gift was humor. He could make anyone laugh, and when necessary even laugh at themselves.
Roper was one of those individuals you wish you would have spent more time with. He left some memories. 

Thank you, for the note about Penn...I am so sorry to hear and will send a card to his family
....Love Lynette Moss

Penn was so lucky to have remade so many classmates as a friend in his last year. 
I'm so sorry I had lost touch with him for so many years.

It hard thinking about those we once knew passing away, and never having the opportunity to talk with them again.May the Lord be a comfort to their families during these times.
Steve (Mel)

And From Ted Sommers, 
Hi All,
Went to the Memorial service for Penn over the weekend, and it was very good and had a very large turn out.I'm very glad that Susan and I attended.
I really didn't know what a taleneted person Penn was, I was in total amazement of all of his achievements, and all of his high and low periods.
He surely was a great person to know and I feel honored that I know the Great “Roper


Gale and Sandy;It was great seeing you two shoppers !!!!We'll do it again soon, I'm sure....

If you have the chance, please stop by the web site that his brothers have created for him....http://goertzel.org/penn it's great!!

I don't have all the email addresses for the class of 65', so you might if you want, please pass his web site along to others..

Ted & Susan

Continue here to Messages from Penn's Friends other than those from Buena High School.