George Pennell was born in May 1893. He was educated in the Asheville Public Schools. After attending Wake Forest, Mr. Pennell graduated with a degree in law. He returned to Asheville and joined the Fred Sale Law Practice. He had many varied interests in the field of law. One of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences took him to circus and carnivals as their "Mouth Piece."
He became interested in cemetery law and thus turned his interest specifically to Green Hills Cemetery. During this time he restored the grounds and pointed it in a positive direction. He never asked to be paid for these services and through the years it has become a leading and most respected cemetery.
During Mr. Pennell's lifetime, he conducted Easter Sunrise Services led by local church choirs and pastors, presented Memorial Services for those who served our country in wars. The Memorial Services were presented with dignity and honor.
Families were treated with respect as they came to plan graveside services. The office staff was compassionate and accommodating. This tradition continues to prevail with the current staff. Mr. Pennell became legal counsel for the American Cemetery Association. He was considered an expert in cemetery law.
He and his wife, Madeline Pennell were respected and loved citizens of Asheville. She joined him in her interest of Green Hills Cemetery and diligently assisted her husband in all realms of the cemetery.
Madeline W. Pennell
Madeline White Pennell was the wife of Asheville attorney, George C. Pennell. She was a graduate of Mars Hill College and Vance Business College and taught in the Buncombe County School System and business colleges in the 1920's.
For 29 years she was superintendent of Green Hills Cemetery and served as chief administrative officer of the Board of Directors as well as superintendent-treasury of the cemetery.
Mrs. Pennell was known for her active involvement in First Baptist Church, where she was, among other things, elected to a position of Life Deacon.
She was well known for her community involvement, serving on the committee for the restoration of Zebulon Vance birthplace, as well as the George Truett Home. She was member of the Board of Directors
of the Asheville YMCA, president of the Vetust Club, president of the Asheville Garden Club and president of the Literary Society.
For 35 years, she served on the Mars Hill College Board of Trustees and was the longest serving member of any person on that board.
She was recognized for her book reviews, research programs and knowledge of the study of antiques. She and her husband wrote a number of historical reviews and gave numerous presentations of the history of Asheville and Buncombe County.