Death of pianist Colin Penn

Durban musician Colin Penn at the Oyster Box in Umhlanga. He died today, aged 79.

……BY BILLY SUTER…..

LESS than two hours after his death today, following a stroke in hospital, tributes starting pouring in on social media for long-popular Durban musician Colin Penn.

The amiable producer of nostalgic music tribute shows, also a versatile pianist and leader of The Pennants musical trio, died at 4pm. He was 79 and would have turned 80 on January 6 next year.

Penn, who brought a lot of joy to many and gave employment opportunities to many up-and-coming singers in their early years, had a stroke yesterday morning. His immediate family was summoned  after he slipped into unconsciousness.

 Colin Penn and his wife, Barbara.

“We spent the entire afternoon there and were able to see Colin. The doctor ordered an MRI and he found six spots – three on the left side of his brain and three on the right side,” said Penn’s widow, Barbara.

Penn suffered kidney failure as well as suspected cardiac failure and it was believed by the family that had be survived he would have been unable to have the use of his limbs on the right side of his body, and would have most probably have been wheelchair-bound.

“This is something Colin spoke about for many years. He did not want to end up like that,” added Barbara.

“Play the piano up in heaven, Colin. Thank you for the great times. Rest in joy,” wrote Durban actor-singer Lyle Buxton on Penn’s Facebook page.

“Terrible news, such wonderful memories from as early as the 1980s. Sending condolences,” said Durban musician Bev MacGregor, while Durban arts doyenne Caroline Smart also expressed condolences over “this very sad news”.

“May his memory be a blessing,” said musician Ross Tapson.

Rest in peace, Colin. Thank you for the music and thank you for the memories.


7 thoughts on “Death of pianist Colin Penn

  1. Dearest Barbara and family,

    We are deeply saddened to hear of Colin’s death and carry you and the family in our prayers Our memories will always be fond ones of a man with a larger than life personality and passion for music and his beloved piano.
    May cherished memories and the knowledge that he is in heaven with his Lord and Saviour, reunited with loved ones and restored to full health bring you much comfort in your hour of need. God bless. Love Roland and Bruna (St Olav congregants)

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  2. My earliest memories of Colin was when he launched a Music Group called “Colin Penn and the Ink Drops” for a Durban High School Talent Show. They brought the House down!! Years later, Colin joined the Durban Rotary Club where he used his musical talents and delightful sense of humour, both to entertain fellow members and to help raise vital funds for Charity. He will be remembered with great affection by every one, I am sure. Condolences to Barbara and his family. May Colin rest in Peace. Richard and Liz Cluver

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  3. The residents of Eden Crescent Retirement Home will remember you Colin with great memories and much warmth..
    We will miss you. Go well Big Guy!

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  4. RIP Colin, so many wonderful memories of your Band playing at the Al Fresco and then all the fund raising concerts you did.Condolences to Barbara and family.Heaven has gained another great musician.

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  5. Hi there Billy Have you any idea when Colin’s funeral will be? Regards Denise Du Bois.

    On Sat, 03 Oct 2020, 20:08 …..SoSuterBill….., wrote:

    > sosuterbill posted: ” Durban musician Colin Penn at the Oyster Box in > Umhlanga. He died today, aged 79. ……BY BILLY SUTER….. LESS than two hours > after his death today, following a stroke in hospital, tributes starting > pouring in on social media for long-popular Durban musici” >

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  6. My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Colin Penn, a gentleman and a legend – I was privileged to attend a number of his shows over the years and at times was able to help him with the odd electronic problem he encountered with his equipment. R.I.P. Colin

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