Stuart A. Pennels, 55

Stuart 'Toby' Pennels

Stuart 'Toby' Pennels

WINDHAM — Stuart Alan “Toby” Pennels, 55, passed away at the Hospice House in Auburn on Thursday, Sept. 4 from injuries sustained in an accident on Aug. 3 near Rangeley.

He was born July 5, 1959 in Chicago, Ill., the son of the late Stuart Alan Pennels Sr., and Deborah (Dean) Pennels.

Toby graduated from Windham High School in 1977, and the University of Massachusetts in 1981, where he met his wife, Brenda (Mierzejewski) Pennels, whom he married in 1983. He received a commission as a 2LT in the United States Army, and went on to complete 30 years of active and reserve service, retiring as a colonel in 2011. His career included many high-risk command and staff positions, including three combat tours with his final tour as the commander of the 358th Civil Affairs Brigade based in Baghdad in 2007, where his unit received the Superior Unit Citation. Toby was a highly-decorated Army Ranger with over 35 awards including the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and a Combat Action Badge.

In addition to his military career, Toby was self-employed as an investment advisor for Penn Investments, Inc. Toby was highly involved in his local community. He sat on the Windham School Committee for 12 years, was a member and past president of the Sebago Lake Rotary Club, member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and President of the Windham Veteran’s Association. Toby had many hobbies. He was the organizer of an annual hunting trip to Ontario, Canada with friends new and old, he loved working in his yard, spending time on Sebago Lake, skiing, golf, and moving his children from one apartment to the next.

Governor Paul LePage released the following statement following Toby’s passing, “Ann and I send our deepest condolences to Toby’s wife, Brenda, and their three children. I conveyed our sympathies when I met with them last week, but we cannot imagine the grief they must feel. At the same time, they should be very proud that their husband and father served our country with honor and always supported his fellow veterans. He was a devoted family man and a dedicated citizen who was willing to step up and serve his community. Toby truly represented the best of Maine, and his example of selfless service has inspired us all.”

Toby was the Republican candidate for State Senate District 26.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Brenda (Mierzejewski) Pennels; his daughters, Taylor E. Pennels of Portland and Jordan B. Pennels of Westbrook; his son, Shawn D. Pennels of Boston, Mass.; his mother, Deborah (Dean) Pennels of South Casco; his sister, Melissa (Pennels) Best of Thessaloniki, Greece; his aunt; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Toby was blessed with many friends who will also miss him dearly.

The family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support, comfort and prayer from the extended community during this difficult period.

Calling hours will be on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the auditorium of Windham High School, 406 Gray Road, Windham. A memorial service will immediately follow.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: The Toby Pennels Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 735, Windham, ME 04062 or Windham Veterans’ Association, P.O. Box 1776, Windham, ME 04062.

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