Ernest L. Pennell, 84, of Debary, Fla., formerly of Ridgefield and Danbury, died May 11. He was the husband of Helen Pennell for 36 years.

Mr. Pennell was born Oct. 21, 1928, in Patterson, N.Y., to the late Ernest L. Pennell and Gladys (Baker) Pennell.

After graduation, Mr. Pennell enlisted in the Army and served for four years. During his time in the Army, he served in the South Pacific.

After returning home, he had his own landscaping company and worked for Armstrong Rubber and Montanari Fuel in Ridgefield. After retiring to Florida in 1991, he worked with the landscaping crew at Deltona Memorial Gardens.

Mr. Pennell and his wife loved caring for homeless cats and kittens in DeBary. Nightly they would go to a local 7-Eleven store and feed the cats in the area.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Pennell is survived by a daughter, Deborah Toscano, and her husband, David, of Lutz, Fla.; two sons, Timothy Pennell, and his wife, Vi, of Naugatuck, and Jeffrey Pennell, and his wife, Sandra, of Redding; two stepsons, Frank Spaziani, of Sherman, and Fred Spaziani, and his wife, Chris, of Springfield, Va.; three sisters, Marion Vassak and Doris Falls, both of Danbury, and Shirley Kathan, of New Milford; 12 grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two sisters, Alice Smith and Jane Cochoran, and three brothers, Robert, William and Albert Pennell.

The Lankford Funeral Home of Deland, Fla., was in charge of the cremation.

Burial services will take place July 17 at 11 a.m. A military service will take place in the Bushnell Veterans Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may made to the ASPCA at or mailed to ASPCA of Central Florida, 2800 County Home Road, Sanford FL 32772.