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Galen Pankonin

July 9, 1944 — December 26, 2023

Galen LeRoy Pankonin was born to Victor Otto and Hulda Pauline (Gloy) Pankonin on July 9, 1944. Galen passed away at a North Platte nursing home early on the morning of Tuesday, December 26, 2023, at the age of 79.

Galen was the oldest of six children who grew up on the Pankonin family farm north of Grant. He was baptized on July 30, 1944 at Trinity Lutheran Church north of Grant and was confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Zion Lutheran Church in Grant on March 30, 1958.

He and his brother, Gilbert, were just young tikes when the Blizzard of '49 hit and enjoyed riding their sleds on the huge drifts that covered the yard.

Galen and Gilbert possessed an affinity for horses that they passed down to their younger siblings. The family had a pair of shetlands, and Galen would drive the pair around in a wagon that his dad, Vic, had made.

Galen attended Perkins County High School in Grant and was a member of Ed Haenfler's football team. He graduated with the Class of 1962.

Following graduation, Galen attended Kearney State College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1968. It was there he met Sara Grovas, who would become his wife.

Galen began his business career as a sales agent for Connecticut Mutual Life in North Platte. He and Sara would later move to Lincoln, where he went to work for Air Products. It was during this time, they had their first child, a daughter, Sonia Maria.

He continued his affiliation with Air Products, which would take the family to Grand Island, Nebraska, where he served as a district manager for the company. It was during this time that a son, Jeffrey Michael, was born.

Galen loved to fish, and the family purchased a trailer at Lake McConaughy. They spent countless weekends fishing and boating at the lake, creating many family memories.

After a rough patch in his life, Galen moved to Omaha, where he owned and operated A-OK Duct Cleaning for nearly 20 years before retiring.

Galen liked to spend time on his computer but especially loved watching baseball and his Chicago Cubs. On occasion, he would travel to Arizona for spring training. Once MLB Season Pass became available, he would spend his days and evenings taking in as much baseball as he could.

After 26 years in Omaha, Galen suffered a stroke at his home in mid-September 2023. He spent three weeks in an Omaha hospital and another three weeks in a rehabilitation home in Millard before moving to The Maples at Centennial Nursing Home in North Platte to be closer to family.

Galen was preceded in death by his parents, Vic and Hulda Pankonin; special friend, Janie McGuire of Omaha, sister-in-law Nancy Pankonin; nephew Justin Pankonin; sister-in-law Barb Pankonin.

He is survived by his daughter Sonia Pankonin of Lafayette, Colorado; son Jeffrey Pankonin (Nicki Kinzie) of Albuquerque, New Mexico; brothers Gilbert Pankonin, Temecula, California; Alvin (Lucretia Johnson) of Madrid; Charles (Sally) Pankonin of Ogallala; Russell (Lori) Pankonin of Imperial; sister Kathryn Fattig of Grant; grandchildren Eden Beers and Max Powell of Lafayette, Colorado. Other survivors include Kelly Mundt of Omaha and Sara Collinson of Miami, Florida; numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Memorial gifts are designated to the Perkins County Foundation Fund or donor's choice. Condolences may be shared at bullocklongfuneralhome.com, where the services will be streamed live.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 10:30 am at Trinity Lutheran Church south of Ogallala, with Rev. J.M. Dickmander officiating. Inurnment will be in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery.

Bullock-Long Funeral Home of Grant is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Galen Pankonin, please visit our flower store.
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Memorial for Galen Pankonin

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Trinity Lutheran Church

32695 Rd 768, Ogallala, NE 69153

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