The headline read:
That is the quest of Merrell W. Pennington, 79, a Tualatin farmer and house builder. Pennington said he had spent a year trying to find a boy, preferably an orphan in straitened circumstances, who is ambitious to become a doctor or dentist.
Pennington said he would pay all the living and educational
expenses of such a boy, even put him through high school if necessary and then through college and medical or dental school. He also said he is building a new house near Tualatin and that the youth selected could live there with him and eventually could inherit the house if he wanted it.
In return, Pennington is hopeful that he would live with him in his present house two miles from Tualatin. If he had a widowed mother, she would be welcome also. Pennington said."You get to feeling kind of down and out when most of your family is gone," Pennington explained.
His son, Dr. Merle Pennington, is a graduate of the University of
Oregon Medical School and now is in practice at Sherwood. Two other sons died in infancy. One of his two daughters died at the age of 21, just after she graduated from the Oregon College of Education, and the other died last year. A foster son, his wife's nephew, died at the age of 7. Pennington's wife died three years ago, not long after the couple celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary.
Pennington now shares his three-bedroom house with his son-in-law, a partial cripple, [and his] son-in-law's daughter. But after the girl finishes attending Lewis and Clark College next year, they plan to move away.
He said persons interested in his offer could write him at route 1, box
231AA, Sherwood, or telephone MErcury 9-1825.
This raises a couple of questions:
1. Was a deserving boy found, and if so, who is he?
2. Is Farmer Pennington's son Merle, our own Merle Pennington, one of the founders of the OHSU Department of Family Medicine?