ORANGE lost one of its great personalities this week when funeral director Norm Penhall died.
A life-long Orange resident, Norman James Penhall succumbed to heart issues at the Orange Health Service at 1.45pm on Thursday after a week-long stint in intensive care.
The owner of Orange institution Norman J Penhall Funerals, Mr Penhall was 86.
Mr Penhall began his working life as an apprentice mechanic at EC Cameron and Sons as a teenager and later owned his own garage in Anson Street during which time he also drove a taxi.
A man who loved cars, Mr Penhall updated to the latest model regularly and this led to him being asked to drive at weddings with another car-loving friend, and then funerals.
In partnership with wife Deidre, who was working as a bookkeeper at the business at the time, Mr Penhall purchased Keith N Baker Funerals when it was put on the market in the early 80s and the pair worked along each other until Mrs Penhall died in January 2018.
During that time, they significantly expanded their William Street base.
This year Mr Penhall was plagued with heart issues, spending three weeks at Orange Health service in March. However he recovered to return to work and was also proud to have been able to regain his drivers' licence.
Despite presiding over some of Orange's biggest funerals, Mr Penhall will be buried in a private service next week, as per his wishes.
The community is also assured it will be business as usual at the funeral home.
He is survived by daughter Susan Hill.
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