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Priscilla Atwood Fenner, 90, local journalist and Sun City historian
Priscilla Atwood Fenner, 90, of Sun City, passed away on June 14, 2022. Known for her relentless positive outlook and love of humorous hats, Pris lived a life of adventure that allowed her to travel the world over and pursue careers linked to her passions for teaching, journalism, theater and history.
She was born April 4, 1932, in Wisconsin and received a bachelor’s degree in drama from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a master’s degree in secondary education from Arizona State University. As a teacher, she taught English on the Navajo Indian Reservation and later taught high school French, English, speech, drama and journalism.
An accomplished writer and award-winning photographer, Pris worked for newspapers in Texas, Illinois and Wisconsin before joining the Daily News-Sun in Sun City, where for many years – under the byline of P. Atwood Fenner -- she wrote travel columns depicting her journeys to such places as Japan, Egypt, Mexico, Canada and the Soviet Union.
Moving to Sun City in 1984 to live with her mother Laura Mathews Atwood Pulcher – whom Pris referred to as “the most significant person in her life” -- she immediately became involved in local community theater. She wrote, directed, and produced several works for the Sun City Players and Theater Readers Ensemble.
She was a charter member of the Sun Cities Area Historical Society and served several terms on the society’s Board of Trustees. She volunteered as a docent at the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum and her historical columns were popular features in the museum’s newsletter.
She also volunteered at the Youngtown and Yarnell public libraries, and a was member of Road Runner chapter of Questers, Soroptimists, AARP, American Pen Women, West Valley Tellers of Tales.
Pris was married three times but has no survivors.
Priscilla’s interests in journalism and history were a direct result of her family’s heritage. She is a descendant of John Atwood, who first settled in Plymouth in 1643, and her great-grandfather, David Atwood, was a general during the Civil War and founder of The Wisconsin Journal.
Gen. Atwood, a founding member of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, also served as a U.S. Congressman from Madison, Wis., and is best known for serving as vice president and chairman of the nation’s centennial celebration held in Philadelphia in 1876. The celebration ran for six months and attracted over nine million attendees and 30,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries.
A Celebration of Life is planned 10 a.m. Nov. 15 at Youngtown Council Chambers, 12033 N. Clubhouse Square, Youngtown. Memorials may be sent to Del Webb Sun Cities Museum, 10801 W. Oakmont Drive, Sun City, 85351.