Anna `Nancy' Penn, 76, owner of doughnut shops

September 29, 2005

Anna "Nancy" Penn, who had owned a chain of doughnut shops and video stores with her husband, died of cancer Tuesday at Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville. The former Ellicott City resident was 76.

Anna Marie Bemkey was born in Baltimore and raised on Barre Street. She was a graduate of Seton High School and worked briefly as a secretary at Calvert Distillery in Relay.

In 1951, she married Reynold J. Penn, a businessman who opened a Dunkin' Donuts shop on Frederick Road in the 1960s. After selling the business in 1976, the couple began their own chain when they opened Doughnut World Inc. on U.S. 40 in Ellicott City.

They expanded their business with stores in Eldersburg and Westminster. They sold the doughnut stores in 1987. They also owned Video Works in Ellicott City from 1980 to 1982.

Mrs. Penn worked for several years in the 1980s as a nanny. She was a member of the Rolling Hills Women's Club.

She enjoyed traveling by steamship and had taken more than 20 cruises.

Mrs. Penn was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church on Melvin Avenue in Catonsville.

Her husband died in February. She is survived by two sons, Bruce R. Penn and Brian R. Penn, both of Ellicott City; two daughters, Donna M. Louzon of Greencastle, Pa., and Linda T. Gordon of Towson; a sister, Marie Bemkey of Baltimore; and 11 grandchildren.

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