Richard M. Panek, 82
Richard "Dick" Miles Panek, Feb. 19, 1931 - July 12, 2013, resident of San Jose. Dick Panek passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by loving family, at the age of 82.
Beloved husband of 57 years to Mary Ann (Venier) Panek. Loving and kind father to Michael Panek, Kathy (Ed) Rossi, Andrea (Tony) Biondi, Carol (John) Goetz, Gena Panek, Edward Panek, John (Michelle) Panek. Cherished "Papa" to 12 grandkids. Caring brother to Joan (Al) Goebel of Hastings, Minn., sister-in-law Shirley Venier of Washington, and sister and brother-in-law Eugene and Louisa Amoe of Arizona.
Dick was born in Hastings, Minn., to Ruth and Miles Panek. After graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Army as an Army Ranger, then went to the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He married his college sweetheart, Mary Ann Venier, and moved to California where he began a successful engineering career which included working on the Apollo space program during the "space race." He retired from the G.E. Nuclear Energy Division in 1994 and enjoyed many years of retirement with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Dad will be remembered as a wonderful, loving, and supportive father and family man who loved watching football games and sharing a beer. He was frequently at his workbench fixing anything that was broken. He loved walks along the creek with family members and never missed an important event for his kids or grandkids. He was known for his sense of humor, kindness, integrity, friendly and positive manner, and for having a wealth of knowledge about almost everything. He touched many lives in a positive way and will be greatly missed.
A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 22, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1200 Redmond Ave., San Jose.