Niagara Gazette — Penque’s situation has been complicated for a while. Going through some marital trouble, he and his wife filed for divorce, separating with two young children and throwing life for everyone involved into turmoil.
But then the unthinkable happened. Penque’s ex-wife was diagnosed with a degenerative dementia and suddenly, Penque was the only one around to support his family.
Taking a step back from their lives has since never even been an option, not even a consideration, he said.
“I’ve always taken the attitude that these are my kids,” he said. “People would congratulate me for doing it. It always kind of dumbfounded me they’d think anything different. Maybe it’s not typical - some fathers don’t have that attitude - but it’s the one I take.”
Quick to adjust, Penque has been able to juggle all sorts responsibilities. Besides working full time, he’s also a part time student at Niagara University. It would be easy for him to stop caring as much about the lives of his children. But he simply won’t.
He has participated in the district’s program in previous years, heading with his daughter to Abate Elementary, where she’s part of the enrichment program. But a new development is about to change his typical involvement: His son, Noah, is now in kindergarten at Hyde Park Elementary.
So when it came time to decide how he’d handle this year’s program, he said he had a tough choice to make.
“The kids know about it and they ask about it,” he said of the popular program. “My daughter takes the bus to Abate and I normally take my son to school. She asked me if I was going to go to school with her again. I told her I was going to take (my son).”