Penngrove church leader Uhlig dies at the age of 69
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By GraceAnn Walden  April 26, 2013 12:00 am

Pastor Lowell Uhlig, of the more than 100-year-old 

Penngrove Community Church, 9970 Oak St., peacefully passed away at Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael on April 18. For more than 10 years, he had waged a battle against cancer. Members of his congregation kept vigil in his final hours.

There is only one church in Penngrove, and many would say, there was only one Pastor Lowell.

He was born Jan. 10, 1944 in Clackamas, Ore. He graduated with a BA from San Jose Bible College in 1964. 

After leading two churches in Oregon, he came to California and earned a Masters degree at the Golden Gate Theological Seminary.

In 2009, after pastoring in Terra Linda and Petaluma, Uhlig came to Penngrove Community Church. He was able to unite the church community after some time of discord.

“Lowell was the peacemaker,” says his wife, Nancy.

After surviving many cancer challenges in the last 10 years, bleeding in his brain led doctors, last week, to discover a tumor.

According to his wife, Nancy, “Lowell's legacy is the peace that he brought to this church and how he prepared the church to find another pastor to continue his vision.”

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, son Jerry, daughter Leslie and two granddaughters, Ashley and Rachael.

A memorial is being planned.

MANY PEOPLE KNOW about the Penngove Social Firemen, but they may not know how they came to be. Their president, Ray Soper, an insurance broker, explained that in the early 1950s, the fire department here in Penngrove was made up of 25 volunteers.

The members wanted to buy Penngrove Park in order to build a baseball field. Fire chief Sinclair thought it wasn't appropriate for the firemen to raise funds for this project, so the Penngrove Social Firemen were born.

They went to work auctioning unused farm equipment, threw barbeques and received no-interest loans from local dairymen and others. For $3,000 they bought the park and the Penngrove Eagles had a new home.

Eventually, they also established the Penngrove Community Club (385 Woodward). Youth groups often use the club for meetings.

By June 1, they hope to refurbish the ball field, redoing the infield and sowing grass in the outfield.

On May 11, they are inviting the community to their Truckers Ball to be held at the club. The dinner and dancing entrance fee is $20 and includes tri-tip, pasta and salad. Charlie Baker's band will provide the music for dancing. Reliance Towing is donating a silver buckle for the prize drawing, which is included on the back of the dinner ticket. Tickets can be purchased at Java Amore at the Grove.

THERE HAVE BEEN rumors circulating around Penngrove about a bobcat sighting. But the folks from Split Rail Family Farm in Penngrove know it is coyotes preying on their lambs – they've lost four. When I called owner Ben Angulo, he didn't have coyotes on his mind, because on Monday, around 5 p.m., his wife Jane delivered his newest son. Congrats!

GraceAnn Walden leads food-history tours of San Francisco neighborhoods and is hoping to have chickens one of these days. Send news to: gaw@sbcglobal.net.

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