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Archmere Academy junior dies after car accident


Dialog reporter

CLAYMONT – The Archmere Academy community is mourning the passing of one of its own. Anthony Penna, a junior, succumbed Oct. 3 to injuries he suffered in an automobile accident the week prior.

Anthony, 17, and his sister Gabrielle, a sophomore at the school, were injured the morning of Sept. 29 when the

Anthony Penna

Jeep Liberty he was driving collided head-on with an Audi on Kennett Pike. The siblings, along with the driver of the Audi, were taken to Christiana Hospital.

According to the school, the Penna family decided to remove Anthony from life support. All his viable organs were donated to the Gift of Life Donor Program, as the teen had wished.

As word of the accident spread on Friday, schools from across Delaware announced their support for the family. Prayers were offered for Anthony and 16-year-old Gabrielle, known as Gabby, at each of Archmere’s sports events over the weekend, which was homecoming. Other schools had prayers as well. Anthony was a member of the varsity soccer team, which tied St. Mark’s on Saturday afternoon. Gabby is a member of the cross-country team.

After his death was announced, fellow Catholic schools posted messages of support on Twitter.

The Penna family acknowledged the “unbelievable support during this difficult time” through a statement released by Archmere.

In addition to soccer, Anthony also was a member of the lacrosse program. He also was a bass in the school’s acclaimed Mastersingers. At St. Edmond’s Academy in north Wilmington, he was active in athletics and also in band, choir and theater. At his parish, St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Greenville, he was an altar server, lector, cantor and a member of the church choir.

In addition to his sister, Anthony is survived by his parents, Robert and Melanie; his grandparents, Ann Abke of Phoenix and Robert and Tirsia Penna of Wynnewood, Pa.; and extended family.

A public viewing will take place Oct. 6 at the Patio at Archmere beginning at 5 p.m. The funeral Mass will be Saturday, Oct. 7, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph on the Brandywine, with burial following immediately in the parish cemetery.

In memory of Anthony’s love of music, the family is establishing the Anthony Penna Foundation at St. Edmond’s and Archmere. Donations will be designated to the fine arts programs at both schools.