Tragic family's new arrival

A FAMILY whose lives were torn apart by the sudden death of a loving Ipswich father are today celebrating the birth of a baby boy named in his honour.For the past 12 months Lil Pennell and her daughters Mandy and Lynsey have been battling to come to terms with the death of 54-year-old John Pennell.

A FAMILY whose lives were torn apart by the sudden death of a loving Ipswich father are today celebrating the birth of a baby boy named in his honour.

For the past 12 months Lil Pennell and her daughters Mandy and Lynsey have been battling to come to terms with the death of 54-year-old John Pennell.

Their lives have been dominated by the grief of living without the popular electrician and well-known former amateur footballer from Ashcroft Road and each day has been a struggle to overcome their immense sense of loss.

But today - on the anniversary of Mr Pennell's death - the Pennells have a new ray of sunshine in their lives and he carries a part of Mr Pennell with him.


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That bundle of happiness is bouncing baby boy Louis John Squirrell, the boy who would have been Mr Pennell's second grandson.

His mother Mandy, 35, of Hollycroft Close, Ipswich, said today: “He is the image of my dad. All I prayed for was to have a little boy just like my dad.

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“Right from the start when I knew it was going to be a boy I knew I wanted him to have part of my dad's name.

“He's a special baby. You couldn't wish to get pregnant at a worse time but it has given us something to focus on.

“We all look at him and think he's a bit special but I feel a bit betrayed that this special baby is going to be without his granddad.”

Baby Louis was born on September 21 at Ipswich Hospital, eight days overdue and weighing a healthy 9lb10oz.

He is a brother to Jensen, who will turn four on November 15, and his arrival came just six weeks before his family prepared to mark the first anniversary of Mr Pennell's death.

The proud grandfather, who was known to his friends as Percy, had gone to work for electrical contracting company Ceetech, based at Claydon Business Park, Gipping Road, Great Blakenham, as normal after kissing his wife goodbye.

But later that day colleagues found Mr Pennell dead in an industrial unit where he had been working. He was clutching in his hands a cable carrying 400 volts from a distribution box below.

An inquest returned a verdict of suicide but the family has been adamant throughout that Mr Pennell showed no signs of wanting to end his life and they feel his death could have been the result of a tragic accident.

Today, and again on Saturday, relatives will gather to remember him.

Lynsey, 32, said: “The hardest thing is not knowing what happened.

“We will be getting together to celebrate his life not mourn him.”

And Lil, 54, added: “We still can't come to terms with it. You just think he's coming home at any time.

“It's been the hardest year of my life and the worst year of my life.”

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