Russell Pankey, Sr.
CHARLESTON - Russell Ray Pankey, Sr. of Sun Lakes, Arizona, born on July 6, 1935, went to be with his Lord and Savior on June 21, 2018 in Sun Lakes, Arizona surrounded by family.
Russ was the third child of five born to Ercel James Pankey and Martha Ilean Davis Pankey. He was born in central Illinois. Russell graduated from Charleston High School, in Charleston, Illinois. Russ met and married Shirley Lee Chism on October 10, 1954 in Charleston, Illinois. During their 42 years of marriage, they had five children. Russell Pankey Jr. of Bowie, Texas, Chris Allen Pankey of Wichita, Kansas, Anthony A. Pankey of Salt Lake City, Utah, Faith Pankey Lawson of Fort Smith, Arkansas and Jay D. Pankey of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Russ was predeceased in death by wife Shirley, and sons, Chris and Anthony. From this union, they had 22 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren with one to be born in December, 2018.
In June of 2011, Russell married Mary Rawlings in Sun Lakes, Arizona. He was blessed to have three bonus children from this union who reside in the greater Seattle area and his family increased with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Russ is survived by his sisters, Nancy Kneip Paprocki of Sun Lakes, Arizona, Viviane More of Sun Lakes, Arizona, and his brother, Donald Pankey of Mattoon, Illinois. His brother, James Pankey of Bushton, Illinois predeceased him.
Russ had love of traveling and during his lifetime had traveled virtually around the world as well as in the United States. Russ was very active at First Baptist Church, Sun Lakes, Arizona where he was a member. Russ served as a deacon in the Baptist Church. He graduated from Texas A&M, was a member of the Accredited Aviation Executives, a member of the ELKS club, and in his aviation career, obtained his private pilot’s license. During his retirement, he went on multiple mission trips to third world countries where he loved people by working beside them.
Russ had a heart for his family and never passed up an opportunity to visit them. Russ led them by example of his illustration of a life lived with integrity, dignity and grace. He was a beacon to all who knew him. A man of prayer, faith and compassion.
Services will be on Friday, June 29, 2018 at Harper Swickard Funeral Home, 720 Monroe Avenue, Charleston, Illinois 61920, visitation to begin at 1:00 p.m. with services to begin at 2:00 p.m.