Reynold J. Penn, 78, owner of doughnut shop chain

February 10, 2005

Reynold J. Penn, a retired Howard County businessman who had owned and operated a chain of doughnut shops and a video store, died of a heart attack Monday at his Ellicott City home. He was 78.

Mr. Penn was born in Baltimore, raised in the Pigtown neighborhood and graduated from City College. He enlisted in the Army during World War II, serving in the Philippines and Japan, and attained the rank of sergeant.

He was a graduate of the Baltimore College of Commerce and during the 1950s earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Baltimore.

In the 1960s, Mr. Penn opened a Dunkin' Donuts shop.

"It was the second Dunkin' Donuts to be opened in Maryland and was on Frederick Road," said a son, Bruce R. Penn of Ellicott City. "The whole family worked in the business."

Mr. Penn sold the shop in 1976 and began his own chain, Doughnut World Inc., with the first outlet on U.S. 40 in Ellicott City. He later expanded the business with shops in Eldersburg and Westminster. He also owned Video Works in Ellicott City from 1980 to 1982.

In 1987, he sold the doughnut business and retired.

Mr. Penn was a world traveler and a member of American Legion Post 154.

He was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection, 3175 Paulskirk Drive in Ellicott City, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today.

Mr. Penn also is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Anna "Nancy" Marie Bemkey; another son, Brian R. Penn of Ellicott City; two daughters, Donna M. Louzon of Greencastle, Pa., and Linda T. Gordon of Towson; and 11 grandchildren.

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