Niels David Pennell

07/07/1945 - 10/05/2017


Federation Chapel, Lilydale Memorial Park, 126-128 Victoria Road Lilydale

Thursday, 18 May, 2017 at 01:00 pm

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PENNELL Niels David Passed away peacefully in Melbourne, on 10th May, 2017 Previously of Nundah, Ascot and Aspley A Funeral Service will be held at Lilydale Memorial park, Victoria, on Thursday 18th May, 2017 at 1 p.m

Wednesday 10th May 2017 had been such a beautiful day with clear blues skies - and after receiving the message of Niels' passing, I felt compelled to stop on my way home to take in the most glorious sight of the sun setting over the beach and bay. The colours were exquisite and so extraordinarily vibrant - never has there been a more perfect ending of a day. I took this time to reflect on Niels and 52 years of knowing him. I greatly appreciated being with him and enjoyed our conversations. The brilliant sunset was the most fitting tribute to this lovely, gentle and peaceful person. Farewell dear friend. Love, Christine xx

Fondest memories of a gentleman and a gentle man with such a warm and endearing sense of humour. He will be sorely missed. Love Marge and Nicholas X

Farewell Niels, gentle soul. It was our privilege to have known you.

I remember a very quiet, gentle man with a gleam in his eye which suggested there was much more. I'm only sorry I met him too late to know him better. Vale Niels.

Dear Niels, we shared many Christmas dinners, MCG cricket, opera and music at the Myer Music Bowl, and much more. A lovely, gentle man greatly missed.

When we were young children, Niels was a fantastic uncle – patient and fun. There’s a picture on the back of the booklet that captures that. When we stayed with him and Grandma I remember him making me a boiled egg for breakfast and teaching me to keep my place in a book by placing my bookmark under the line I was reading. During my teenage years his good humour never waned even though I knew everything, as teenagers do. However it wasn’t until I was older that I came to appreciate what excellent company Niels was and I count times spent catching up with him, whether in Brisbane or Melbourne, among the most enjoyable I’ve ever spent. These invariably involved, in one form or another, books, music, theatre, food, sometimes a walk and always good conversation. He took me to my first bookstore cafe, when that became a thing. Emma remembers Niels always giving her terrific books as gifts. He gave me a beautiful red leather bookmark he bought in Norway, although I’d graduated from needing to use it to keep my place by then. He also gave me a beautiful music box from somewhere in Italy and other special souvenirs from his travels. However, our thing was movies, or rather, although we did have a bit of a Hitchcock fest at the Mitcham house one summer, it was visiting the cinema that was our preferred shared activity. We enjoyed many, many films together over the years - Thelma & Louise, Strictly Ballroom, Life is Beautiful, Goodnight and Good Luck, Quartet, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Imitation Game and Exodus – we shared a love of epics. The last film we saw together was Suffragette. I don’t think Niels quite knew what to make of the newly installed enormous recliner seats that had taken over the local multiplex. Probably that they were a bit unnecessary. He definitely preferred visiting the Rivoli or Balwyn cinema, but he wasn’t a snob about it! Once the credits rolled we would share a meal or sometimes just a cup of coffee and, of course, something sweet to eat. Yes, Niels was a dessert man. The Pancake Parlour was a favourite. He introduced me to Godfathers Pizza at the now sadly defunct Schonell Cinema in Brisbane as well as the Palace Cinema in James Street, Newfarm, which is still my favourite place to visit when I’m there. Usually the film we’d just seen would serve as the basis for a long, enjoyable and educational discussion. The breadth of his knowledge never failed to impress me and as a reader, he was keen to always continue learning. He was curious, compassionate and interested in people. Niels enjoyed playing tour guide when I was in Brisbane. Apart from the aforementioned cinemas there were at least a couple of trips on the Citycat that makes it way up and down the Brisbane River, a visit to the Botanic Gardens or the gallery. I tried to return the favour when he was in Melbourne. I remember once taking him to Footscray for proper Italian cannoli and a look around the market. He enjoyed visiting Mum on the Mornington Peninsula and did this a few times. Wherever we saw another, I came to look forward to these outings more and more. More than my uncle, Niels had become my dear friend. He was a wonderful listener and offered me helpful advice on more than one occasion, particularly a few years ago when I was beginning my teaching career. I will always treasure him telling me how much he was looking forward to our wedding and I’m so glad we have film of him dancing there! It’s funny the sort of things you remember about a person. On a trip to Brisbane about ten years ago Niels collected Mum and I from the airport then took us out for coffee and cake on the main street of Nundah. We had a poke around a nearby shop and Mum and Niels both admired a set of four cushions with a lovely design of two ladies carrying parasols. They quickly determined they would each buy two which made us all laugh but was the perfect thing to do. These cushions will always evoke his memory. I’m taking Feehan to Brisbane for a couple of weeks next month. While we’re there I plan to visit at least the cafe at James Street, if not the cinema. I’ll drink a cup of coffee and order something much too sweet and think of my wonderful, gentle, worldly, generous, dignified and eloquent uncle. NB I also should have mentioned Niels' love of tennis. We went to the Australian Open together at least once.