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Peacefully on Monday July 16, 2018 Alan Panko passed away with his family by his side at the St. Boniface Hospital at the age of 61 years.
Alan was predeceased by his mother Marge; brother Michael John; grandparents Nick and Martha Panko and John Gladue. Alan is survived by his wife of 43 years Debby; son Michael (Kathy); daughter Kellee; grandsons Aiden, Mason and Tucker Alan; his father Nick; brother Randy (Sandy); sister Michele (Bob); father and mother-in-law Harvey and Sheila Fraser; brothers-in-law Ken (Donna) Fraser; Gord (Ally) Fraser; sisters-in-law Cori (Bill) Barley and Tammy (Wayne) McDonald; many nieces and nephews. He will forever be remembered by his best friend and hunting partner Jim (Jacki) Leafloor.
Alan was born on December 22, 1956 in Portage la Prairie the first child for Nick and Marge Panko. At the time of his birth his parents were the owner/operators of Panko’s Food Centre and it was inevitable that the store would become such an integral part of Alan’s life. Alan grew up in the house at the back of the store so the business was truly his heart and soul from the very beginning. He attended Fort la Reine, Yellowquill and Arthur Meighen schools in Portage la Prairie.
The store was a passion for Alan – he learned at an early age that it took long hours and hard work to succeed - both of which he did with a drive that most people could not keep up with. As the business grew so did Al’s talents – he learned to cut fresh meat and Panko’s meat shop was created. Alan took pride in every piece of meat he placed on the shelf. In 2016 Alan passed the reins to his son Mike and took great pride in knowing we were a four-generation business.
Anything that Alan did was done 100% - he poured his whole being into his family, his work and his interests. On July 12, 1975 Alan and Debby were married and were fortunate enough to spend 43 years together – they were blessed with two amazing children and three wonderful and talented grandsons. One of Al’s passions was nature – hunting season was always on his mind and if he wasn’t hunting he was planning the next season. Alan was an active member of Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and the Little Saskatchewan River Game and Fish group. Alan was also a member of the Portage Gun Club for a number of years and was the Provincial Trap Shooting champion in 1982 a title he took great pride in.
The cottage at Delta Beach was Al’s passion for many years – it was there that he was able to fish both winter and summer – many friendships were formed on Lake Manitoba. As well as fishing Al spent many years hunting both waterfowl and deer in the area – hunting in the marsh was one of his most favorite memories. Alan expanded his interests in hunting to include the area of Elphinestone and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase property in the area – the development of this property became his passion and even though his health was declining he was able to create an amazing spot for his friends and family to enjoy. It was this spot that provided him with a sense of peace and contentment, he was truly happiest there. In the fall of 2017 after missing the whole fall the previous year Alan was able to get out and have several amazing hunts – this was due to the hard work and dedication that his best friend Jim did to ensure he got out – words can never express how happy he was to once again enjoy seeing the birds as they flew into the decoys.
Over the last ten years Al and Deb travelled to Orlando to enjoy all that Disney World had to offer – many years they travelled there by themselves and many years they took family - whether by themselves or as a group Alan always enjoyed those trips and our last night was always spent at Epcot enjoying the amazing fireworks.
Alan’s family will forever be grateful for the care and compassion provided him by both Jim and Russell Price – his doctors for many years. As well the medical teams at both Portage General and St. Boniface hospital that always did their best to make him comfortable.
A celebration of Alan’s life will take place on Monday, July 30, 2018 at the William Glesby Centre at 2:00 pm with reception to follow.
As expressions of sympathy, if friends so wish, donations may be made in Alan’s memory to Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba – Central Region, c/o #3 - 2430 Victoria Ave, Brandon, MB R7A 5B7 or Diabetes Canada (Manitoba), 401-1 Wesley Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4C6 or Ducks Unlimited Canada, MB Branch, Unit 2 545 Conservation Drive, Brandon, MB, R7A 7L8.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. 204-857-4021 www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
Unit 3 - 2430 Victoria Avenue, Brandon MB R7B 0M5
Diabetes Canada (Manitoba & Nunavut) 401-1 Wesley Ave, Winnipeg MB R3C 4C6
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Box 1160, Stonewall MB R0C 2Z0