Obituary of John C Pankuch
JOHN C. PANKUCH OBITUARY
John, 102, was born in Lakewood, Ohio in 1921. In high school, John was very active in sports. He was the captain of two undefeated football teams and captain of two basketball teams in Lakewood. His family later moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania he ran cross-country and in a non-conference track meet set records for 100, 200 and 400 meters. He organized and played basketball with a team that won many tournaments.
John graduated high school six months early and went to the Univ. of Pittsburgh for Pre-Med and Pre-Law. After two years he was accepted at the Medical School with the Cleveland Clinic. After two years in ROTC he had to decide whether to enlist in the Army Reserve for two more years of ROTC, or go to Medical School. He enlisted in the Army. His only brother also enlisted and was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. They had planned to practice medicine together. While in the Army, John served in the Pacific. In 1946 John married Evelyn O’Connor. A month later, John started attending the University of Pittsburgh Law School and again graduated 6 months early. John was admitted as an attorney in Pa. and Federal Courts and the United States Supreme Court in 1956.
John left private practice to work as a corporate attorney for Sears/Allstate. He lived in Windsor Conn., Pittsford, NY, and Chappaqua, NY. He eventually moved to Basking Ridge in 1969. John was lead attorney on many class action law suits and structured settlements. John served as a Master to resolve law suits in New York Civil Court and was Chairman of the NY Uninsured Motorist Fund. John served on numerous Bar Association committees during his career in NY, Conn. and Pa.
John’s faith was important to him and attended church weekly until he was no longer able to do so. He was a long time member of the Somerset Hills Lutheran Church serving on the Church Council 30 years, Financial Secretary 13 years and a Church Usher for over 30 years. John started the Willowbrook Farms Homeowner’s Association and was President of his neighborhood association for 37 years. John enjoyed volunteering at the VA Hospital in Lyons. He was a volunteer for over 23 years.
He especially enjoyed his time with his family. He loved to travel with his wife, Evelyn, all over the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. He was a devoted father to his two daughters. John’s grandsons were the center of his life. He enjoyed spending every Friday with his grandsons. John drove all over the State of New Jersey to watch his grandsons play baseball and basketball. He especially enjoyed the celebrations after the many tournament wins. His kindness and love will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
John was predeceased by his loving wife, Evelyn and his children, David, Patricia and John Pankuch. He is survived by his daughter, Linda, his daughter, Donna, son-in-law, Scott Legband, and his grandson, John (Lauren) and grandson, Lane (Lauren).
Friends and family are invited to visit on Sept. 5th from 10am-12pm at the Gallaway and Crane Funeral Home, 101 South Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ. A funeral service will be held following the visitation at the Somerset Hills Lutheran Church, 350 Lake Road, Basking Ridge, NJ at 12:30pm.
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