The Defense Department school community in Hanau, Germany, lost one of its own last week with the death of Penny G. Carson, a guidance counselor at Sportfield Elementary School.

Carson, 58, who had worked at the school since 2003, died of a heart attack June 23 while on vacation in Ancon, Panama, according to a Department of Defense Dependents Schools news release.

With school out for the summer, a memorial service is being planned for the start of the new school year, and funeral plans are pending, said David Ruderman, a DODDS spokesman.

“It is hard for all of us, staff and students, to realize that DODDS-Europe has so unexpectedly lost a dedicated teacher and highly respected colleague,” Diana Ohman, DODDS-Europe director, said in a statement.

Carson planned to transfer to Seoul, South Korea, over the summer, where she had accepted another DODDS position.

Among previous assignments, she was on the faculty at Sullivan Elementary School in Yokosuka, Japan, and in Bamberg, Germany.

Carson was an active member of the school community who had a pet parrot that she loved. She also was caught in Asia during the 2004 tsunami.

“She was an adventurer and a survivor,” said Debbie Brooks, principal at Sportfield Elementary.

Survivors include her sisters, Marsha Hackett and Bev Butor.

Condolences may be sent to Hackett at 485 East 1st St., Tustin, Calif., 92780.

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