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SanMartin, Penelope S. July 25, 1941 - June 7, 2021

Penelope “Penny” (Spies) San Martin, joined her dearly departed husband, Thomas, on June 7, 2021 after living with cancer for years.

Originally from Waldwick, NJ, she attended college in West Virginia, then returned to NJ to start her adult life, only to be introduced to her soul mate.  On Valentine’s Day, 1966, they eloped and started their lives together in Passaic, NJ.

In 1972, Penny and Tom moved to Sussex County to raise their children.  Penny was a homemaker until 1975, when she started to volunteer at Alexandria Lynn Hospital (then Wallkill), within a year she was asked to become the head of Volunteers full time.  She worked at the hospital until 1983, along with her eldest daughter.  Penny worked full time and in mother mode all the time (As she put it).

In 1983, she went to work for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and helped bring the organization into Sussex County until 1984.

January 1984, Penny was poisoned at a restaurant, and had to be rushed to Newton Hospital, then to Wallkill Hospital, then to Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.  Penny had a 5% chance of surviving, as the doctors predicted.  In Penny’s own words, she “had daughters to take care of”.  There was a time when Tom stopped to visit her in the hospital on his way to work, and told her that both daughters were home with food poisoning. After he left for work, she demanded to be brought to a phone.  Penny was still in the  ICU, with IVs all over her and made noise until they rolled her to the nurses station so she could call home and check up on her daughters.  Nothing was keeping her from being the mother she was.

Penny was in and out of the hospital for over a year, but she fought for her life and was able to enjoy life again.  In fact, Penny and Tom started going on vacations and even went on a European tour.

From 1997 to 2010, Penny and Tom moved to Florida for retirement and to be closer to their oldest grandchildren.  Penny kept herself busy being a social butterfly while Tom went fishing or hiking.  They both enjoyed the Florida weather in the oasis that Tom built for Penny.

After Tom passed away in April 2010, Penny decided to move back to New Jersey, so she was closer to her youngest grand-daughters, in Hackettstown, NJ, where she spent the rest of her life.

Penny is survived by her two daughters, Kathleen Konomos and Sherrie Bostrom, who both live in New Jersey.  Penny also had four grandchildren, Kaitlynn “Kyle”  S. San Martin, Chip T. Cole, Brooke S. Bostrom, and Paige M. Bostrom.

Penny doesn’t want anyone to mourn her, so the family will be celebrating her life.  They are asking anyone who has any fun and/or good stories about Penny, to please share on this website.  So they can read the stories and share those that are posted on by June 19th.  If you miss the date, please share anyway, the family would love to hear from you.

The family also asks, in lieu of flowers, please donate to The American Cancer Society, in Penny’s name.


  1. REPLY
    Kathy Hurta says

    Penny was like family to me, Glenn, Zach and Jake. We enjoyed many wonderful dinners with her. Penny enjoyed really good food and loved to go out for dinner. She was always the life of the party. We enjoyed her stories about Tom and their life together. She recently told Glenn and I all about her trip to Europe with Tom and how much they enjoyed it. Penny was a really good cook and told us about all the wonderful dishes she made. Especially seafood and cooking up the fish that Tom had caught. Penny had great taste and always dressed beautifully and her nails were always done. She enjoyed that. Penny always considered me family and told me so all the time. That really meant so much to me since my parents had passed so long ago. Penny said I was like one of her daughters. She was so loving and so honest. It was so refreshing. She was very young at heart and you could tell her anything and she would never judge you. I loved seeing Penny with her two cats, James and Joseph those cats loved her so much and she loved them. Penny meant a great deal to me and so many others. I know she is with her husband now. That is what she wanted. I will miss her dearly. May you Rest In Peace my very sweet friend and family member. We miss you very much. ❤️

  2. REPLY
    Elaine Schuster says

    My sincere condolences to Penny’s family. I met Penny in 1977 when I moved to Sussex County from Passaic County, when I started to Volunteer at Alexander Linn Hospital. New to the area, she was kind and welcoming and I so enjoyed her spirit and zest for everything in life. She made the world a better place and was loved by everyone. We served on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters together, and I remember that fateful day at the restaurant. Remember visiting her in the hospital in NYC..what a courageous women.! She and Tom were the best couple. You were always welcome in their home, and you always had a great time. She had the best Whiskey Sour recipe! Plus many others. Great personality…great sense of humor…great woman. She always gave her all. Now Tom and Penny have joined together once again, United for Eternity. God Bless Sherrie & Kathleen and their families!

  3. REPLY
    Sylvia Burdett-Case says

    I will miss Penny and am saddened by her passing. Penny is my daughter in laws mother. When Penny and Tom lived in Florida and visited here for the holidays they would join us at our hone for the holiday dinners. My husband and I spent time with Penny and Tom going out together when they were here. One such visit was to the Mercer Museum in PA. We also spent time together with them at my son and daughter in laws when they were up from Florida.
    We always enjoyed spending time with the two of them. When Tom passed, and Penny moved to Jersey, she continued to spend the holidays at the family gatherings at our house. We considered her part of our family. Penny and I would go to lunch until her health began to decline and she did not go out as much. However, we continued to visit, I always enjoyed our visits. We would talk about when our kids were little, about the grandkids, about when we were kids. We would giggle and laugh about things the kids did when they were little, and about things we did when we were little. We would talk about our husbands and the trips we took. Penny would tell me about her and Tom’s trips to Europe and all the fun times they had. Since we had both lost our husbands we talked a great deal about them. Over the past year with COVID restrictions I missed not being able to visit Penny, however, we talked regularly on the phone. Once the COVID restrictions lifted I was able to visit in person again. I always enjoyed Joseph and James , her cats. They were very devoted to her and would always greet me when I came to visit. I will always be eternally grateful for the visits in the weeks before Penny passed. My last visit was the day she died. At the end of our visits we would always say “I love you Penny” and she would say “I love you too”. I will miss those visits and talks on the phone. Penny was always happy to see me and every time I left she
    would say when are you coming back. I would say next week I’ll be back. It is hard to believe she has passed. I will miss her. My sympathy to the family. I am greatly saddened by her passing.

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