Gerald “Jerry” M. Pankow, 91, of Waterloo, was called to his heavenly home on Monday, June 17, 2019. He was born on March 13, 1928, in Green Lake, Wisconsin to the Rev. Erdmann and Katherine (Schwartz) Pankow.
Gerald was baptized into Christ and later confirmed his faith on July 12, 1942 at Frieden's Ev. Lutheran Church in Green Lake.
Gerald attended Northwestern High School and College in Watertown, graduating on June 8, 1950, with a bachelor's degree in education. He had met the love of his life, Carol Dennison, and they were married on July 4, 1950, in La Crosse. He continued his education at La Crosse University. Gerald then accepted a call to teach at Zion Ev. Lutheran School in Columbus, where he served teaching 7th grade, athletics and Sunday School. He was later called to serve at Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills as head of the Industrial Arts department. As usual, he wore many hats and could be found teaching other classes, coaching, refereeing, bus driving and more. Over the years it was all these extras that made for great memories. He and Carol had then moved their family to a farm home in Waterloo where they have resided for 51 years. Gerald was also a carpenter at heart and all his summers from early on were spent doing carpentry work. Upon retiring from teaching, he worked for several construction companies and later as a general contractor. He loved helping other families with home repairs and special projects as well.
Gerald's faith and trust in God was the central focus of his life and the solid foundation for raising 8 children with his wife of 68 years. Family gatherings were a big part of his life and he helped keep the Pankow Family Reunion going for over 60 years. Gerald and Carol have been extremely blessed over the years with many wonderful friendships.
Gerald is survived by his loving wife Carol; son Michael Pankow of Waterloo; four daughters, Kathryn Smith-Pankow of Mazomanie, Suzanne Morris of Verona, Jean (Robert) Jordan of West Bend, and Mary Prescott of Fort Atkinson; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Gerald is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Richard and Paul and sister Marie; and sons Steven, Bradley, and John Pankow.
A memorial service for Gerald will be held at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Waterloo on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. James Adomeit presiding. A visitation will be held at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will take place at a later date.
Memorials in Gerald's honor to "Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary" for the Rev. Erdmann Pankow Student Scholarship Endowment Fund would be appreciated.
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41: 10
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