Penney died at the age of 95, on February 12, 1971, in New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. His funeral service took place several days later, on February 16th at St James Episcopal Church on Madison Ave. under the direction of the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel. There was no public visitation and his burial in the family mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx was private. On the day of Penney’s funeral, J.C. Penney Co. headquarters were closed and the 1660 stores which comprised the vast J.C. Penney Co. network, did not open until 1:00 PM in honor of their founder. A philanthropic man throughout his lifetime, Penney’s New York Times obituary suggested donations to the YMCA and 4H Club in lieu of flowers.
It is interesting to note that J.C. Penney is among a number of famed American retailers --F.W. Woolworth, Franklin Simon, Samuel H. Kress Frederick A. Constable, Charles Loehmann, George A. Hearn, Roland H. Macy and the Straus (Abraham & Straus) Family--interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx..