Mary Penny <I>Smith</I> Falco

Photo added by Alma Smith

Mary Penny Smith Falco

  • Birth 11 Jan 1926 Knightdale, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
  • Death 8 Oct 2009 Wake County, North Carolina, USA
  • Burial Fuquay-Varina, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 90710468

Fuquay-Varina - Mary Penny Smith Falco passed peacefuly into the loving arms of her Savior on November 8, 2009 at home surrounded by family.

Born in Knightdale January 11, 1926, Penny was raised on her parents' farm. She was an accomplished seamstress before graduating high school. She attended Knightdale Baptist Church with family and played piano for the family quartet before she could reach the pedals. She later played piano and sang in the church choir.

Penny played sports in high school, was in several clubs and was Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook and Valedictorian. After high school she attended East Carolina Teachers College for three years majoring in PE. At ECTC, she was on all possible varsity athletic teams, a member of the Publications Board, Class Council and Drama Society and Editor of the yearbook.

After junior year she returned home to work and planned to return to school. While living and working in Raleigh, she met future husband, Tal. Six weeks later they married. Penny continued working while Tal completed his degree at NCSU. When Tal graduated in 1949, Penny received the degree of "Good Wife" awarded to wives of WWII veterans. Penny and Tal lived in New Jersey before moving to California in 1961.

Although more than anything, her life was defined by her love of friends and family and the tremendous amount of time spent caring for her children, "Housewife" falls far short of describing her. She ran the Little League auxillary and directed swim meets. She made uniforms for girls drill teams, several prom dresses and designed and crated five exquisite wedding gowns. And though she did not learn to swim until her thirties, she performed in synchronized swimming shows into her forties in Sierra Madre, CA.


Penny enjoyed time with her grandchildren; helped raise her first two, made gowns, blankets and toys for all and crocheted christening dresses for twin granddaughters. She managed an apartment building she and Tal purchased. In her spare time she raised and successfully raced homing pigeons and was president of the 500 member So. Calif. Racing Pigeon Association.

After Tal retired, they returned to NC where Penny and Tal designed and landscaped their unique retirement home with a large solarium for the orchids she loved. She loved to work in the yard and spend time with family at Lake Gaston. She particularly enjoyed pulling her children and grandchildren skiing and long boat rides in the evening.

In addition her husband Tal, Penny is survived by her four children: Zylda Falco, of the home, Carl Falco (Glenda) and Teresa Coleman of Fuquay-Varina, Victor Falco (Sharon) of Roseville, CA; eight grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Thomas Funeral Home




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  • Created by: Alma Smith
  • Added: 25 May 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 90710468
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Penny Smith Falco (11 Jan 1926–8 Oct 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 90710468, citing Wake Chapel Memorial Gardens, Fuquay-Varina, Wake County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Alma Smith (contributor 47780021) .