Cooking 02

Penny E. (Desjardins) Potter

July 18, 1943 ~ June 29, 2020 (age 76)


Penny E. Potter of Mansfield Center, CT, loving wife and mother, passed away on June 29, 2020 at the age of 76. She was born in New Haven, CT, to the late Annabelle (Levine) and Raymond P. Desjardins. The family moved to Bradenton, FL, then to Oak Park Michigan, where Penny graduated from Ferndale High school, Ferndale, MI, in 1961. She married her husband of 57 years in 1962, gave birth to her son, Raymond David, and they moved to Urbana, IL in 1966. They lived in Schenectady, NY from 1970 to 1974 and in Downers grove, IL from 1974 to 1979 before settling in Mansfield Center, CT. While in Connecticut, she worked at the CT Department of Mental Retardation and the New England Research Applications Center (NERAC) and The Hoot Gift Store. She graduated from the Connecticut Culinary Institute and became a chef, cooking at the Depot Restaurant and the Mansfield Senior Center. In the latter capacity, she and her coworker, Liz Glanz, prepared delicious daily dinners and often served over 100 seniors who arrived for their holiday meals.  Penny had a love of old, antique houses and, in 2001, they purchased their 300-year-old residence from which she recently left for heaven, after hospice attendance by her niece and husband. Penny’s hobbies included making pottery, sailing, researching antique homes, pressing flowers and fauna, and enjoying her briard dogs. She and her dog, Punch, held several sheep herding titles. Penny is survived by her husband, Donald Potter, and her son Raymond David Potter who lives in Ashford, CT with his wife, Joanne (Miner) and two sons, James and Spencer. She is also survived by her sister, Janice Smith, and brothers Paul Desjardins, with wife Mary, and Matthew Trout all living in Michigan. Several nieces and nephews also live in Michigan, most notably Michelle Wilmoth, who shared with her husband in her hospice.   Penny’s services will be announced at a later date. Donations may be made to the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center of Hartford Hospital. To sign an online memorial guestbook, visit

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