John Mark Pankow, 53, of Waterloo, went to be with his loving Savior on Sunday, March 5, 2017.
John was born on February 26, 1964, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, the son of Gerald and Carol (Dennison) Pankow. John was baptized at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in Columbus and confirmed at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Waterloo, where he was a member for 38 years. John loved being involved in the Jesus Cares program at Luther Prep, where he enjoyed hearing bible stories, singing, and participating in the annual Christmas program. He also loved Camp Basic, his annual June camping experience at Wyalusing State Park in Prairie du Chien. John was employed at Opportunities, Inc. for 31 years before retiring. He was a member of the Jefferson County Chapter of Special Olympics and participated in bowling and track and field events. John’s many other interests included fishing, bowling, Packers and Brewers games, attending the Ringling Brother Circus, the Dodge County Fair’s country western shows, and MeTV shows.
John had a strong bond with his family, and a special closeness with his brother Michael. John’s faith in the Lord was steadfast. His love for Jesus was unquestionable and was the center of his life. John had a beautiful voice. It was a joy to hear him sing. John loved sharing favorite hymns of praise with others, and ended each day with his parents in prayer and song to his Heavenly Father. He is survived by his parents, Gerald and Carol Pankow of Waterloo, one brother, Michael Pankow of Waterloo, and four sisters, Kathryn Smith-Pankow of Mazomanie, Suzanne Morris (Cliff) of Verona, Jean Jordan (Robert) of West Bend, and Mary Prescott of Lake Mills. John is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Steven Pankow and Bradley Pankow, and a brother-in-law, Michael Smith. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Camp Basic in John’s name would be greatly appreciated.
The family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the staff and friends of the following organizations: Jesus Cares Ministries, Camp Basic, Opportunities Inc., Jefferson County Chapter Special Olympics, St. Coletta’s Excel program, and Care Wisconsin. Special thanks to Pastor Wilsmann of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Waterloo, Brenda Meidl and Joel and family of B’s Comforts of Home, and to the doctors and nurses that provided care for John.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00PM on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Waterloo with Rev. Thomas Wilsmann officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday at 12:00 p.m until the time of service at the church.
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