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By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2014 (La Mesa)—Former La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board member Penny Halgren passed away yesterday afternoon.  Halgren served on the school board from 1994 until January 2013. She resigned to move to Arcadia in Los Angeles County to be with her boyfriend and started a quilting business there.

A long-time La Mesa resident, Halgren also served on the board of the East County YMCA for 16 years and was actively involved with the La Mesa Rotary Club.

Rob Sauvajot, regional vice president of the YMCA of San Diego County, said in an e-mail to East County Family YMCA board members Halgren’s “concern for our community and her generosity positively impacted hundreds of families we serve.”

Sauvajot received news of Halgren’s passing from her daughter, Stephanie Halgren.  Below is her message:

Dear friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my mother Penny passed away yesterday afternoon. Jim and I were both with her and she passed as peacefully as she could have.

Bubba, Jim and I have greatly appreciated all of your support from near and far. I was able to play all of the voicemails left for her (nearly 30!) and all of them brought a smile to her face. We also read to her all of your cards and emails. It was such a humbling experience to hear how much she impacted so many lives in La Mesa and around the world with her work on the La Mesa-Spring Valley school board, YMCA board, Rotary, and her quilting business. She also enjoyed the flowers and plants that she received in her final weeks. I apologize for not responding to each of you personally during this time, but I will work my way through the messages and cards in the coming weeks.

According to her wishes there will not be a memorial service. We will have a private scattering of her ashes on a beach in the Los Angeles area. In lieu of flowers, Penny would have appreciated gifts to the East County Family YMCA, one of her favorite charities.

Thank you again for your continued love and support. All my best to you and your families.



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