Cover photo for John Russell Penn's Obituary
John Russell Penn Profile Photo
1949 John 2021

John Russell Penn

September 18, 1949 — November 11, 2021

John Russell Penn, 72, of Hendersonville, TN, passed away Thursday, November 11, 2021. He fought a courageous 3-year battle of cancer. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended Long Beach State but was a die-hard Oklahoma Sooner Fan. He was owner of Chance Film Productions.

John first became interested in producing films back in high school with his participation as a Theater Actor and Singer. He is also owner and producer of Red Earth Productions and screenwriter of Okie From Muskogee, River Down, Oklahoma Faded Love, The Majestic and Candles (The Camp Scott Murders). Candles’ screenplay and film have been dedicated to the three small girls, who lost their lives that June 1977, and their surviving parents.

John was brave, selfless, loving, caring with a strong personality and a great sense of humor. He was a loyal friend to many and a loving Pop to his son Sean. He will be missed by many and will leave a gap in the film industry; yet he has left specific instruction to Sean and his Associate Producer, Connie Maynord, to continue his work.

John is survived by his son, Sean Penn, and four granddaughters-Elaine, Natalie, Diane and Jane. Also, his four step-children: Kathy Nelson, Kelly Lindner, Bo Chase and Tammy Jarmon.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Jane Penn and two step-daughters-Kimberly Welch and Susan Testerman.

Some of his personal wishes were the scripture reading of John 11: 17-27. And his favorite hymns: Amazing Grace, Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down and The Dance.

Arrangements entrusted to: Sumner Funeral & Cremation, 615-452-9059, 128 A West Eastland Avenue, Gallatin, Tennessee. Online condolences may be left at or any of Mr. Penn’s Facebook sites.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Russell Penn, please visit our flower store.


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