Anthony Joseph “Joe” Pankowski, 87
Anthony Joseph “Joe” Pankowski, 87, of Bridgeport, passed away at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, May 9, 2019. At his request, cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Bridgeport Church of Christ with Pastor Jonathan Seng officiating. Burial will follow at Oregon Trail Memorial Cemetery at Bridgeport with military honors by the United States Marines Honor Guard and the Bridgeport Sons of the American Legion Honor Guard. Memorials may be given in care of the family for designation at a later time. Online condolences may be left at www.bridgeportmemorialchapel.com.
Joe was born February 19, 1932 at Broadwater, Nebraska, to Jake Joseph and Alma Margaret (Shoopman) Pankowski. He attended country school and later the school in Northport. He worked as a carpenter’s helper before he enlisted in the United States Marines on June 2, 1952, and served until his honorable discharge on June 1, 1955. He received a Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, the UN Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and a Good Conduct Medal.
Joe returned to the Bridgeport area where he became a fixture in the community. He married Wyona Wiegers in 1957. He then married Irene Hensley in 1959 and the couple divorced in 1972. He was united in marriage to Jann Taylor in 1979 in Washington.
Joe worked as a police officer for the City of Bridgeport for 25 years. After his retirement, he continued to work a variety of jobs. He practiced many trades including butcher, garbage collector, truck driver, farm hand, fireman, and others. Joe was an avid reader preferring westerns and Louis Lamour books. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and helping others.
Joe is survived by his wife Jann of Bridgeport; sons Doug (Cathie) Pankowski of Ainsworth, NE and John (Donelle) Pankowski of Bridgeport; daughters Kim Miller, Toni Lewis, and Ann (Mel) Baldwin all of Alliance, NE; daughters Michelle (Mark) Keszler, Gail (Willis) Beyer, and Holly (Marcus) Widener all of Bridgeport; 20 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; mother-in-law Josephine Wood of Bridgeport; nieces, nephews, and many dear friends.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; grandson Jesse Pankowski; brothers Haver, Jim, and Jack; sisters Elsie Ellen, Theresa Harlow, and Agnes “Aggie” Weaver; halfbrother Stanley; and a nephew, Rick Weaver.