American Veteran 04

Duane "Bud" Pannkuk

September 12, 2020

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     Duane “Bud” Arden Pannkuk went to Heaven on September 12, 2020, due to cancer while living in Sparta Wis.

    He was born in Burt, Iowa, to Evert and Lizzie (Giddings) Pannkuk on November 18, 1930. In 1943, when his father passed away, Bud lived in Chicago with his Aunt Zola for 1 year, and worked at a liquid rubber factory making $1.10/hr., as well as making cameos. He then lived in Lubbock Tx, and worked at Kress as a stock room clerk earning $1.10/hr.  He returned to Burt, IA, and graduated from Burt High School in 1949. He attended Fort Dodge Community College in Iowa for 2 years.

    In 1952-1954, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he served 2 years of active duty at Camp Chaffee in Arkansas. Bud was the squad leader, basic leadership at Camp Chaffee, and airborne in Fort Benning for 3 different divisions. He graduated number 2 in leadership school, which is when he went to airborne. Bud then went on to serve 1 year in Fort Bragg as assistant chief of clerk, and then 3 years of active reserves in Fort Dodge, IA. He entered the Army reserve in Des Moines and Davenport, IA for 8 years for a total of 27 years in the service.  Bud began taking 180-day tours in 1985, for a total of 6 times, ordering ammunition for 16 USAR schools, and retired in 1990 at the age of 60.

     Bud was married to Karen Hain for 7 years, Bonita Lessmeier for 7 years, Sue (Rutledge) Mercer for 20 years, and has spent the past 35 years with Carol Thomas in Sparta, Wis.

     He was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Elizabeth Pannkuk; sister, Mary King; daughter, Julie Kincaide (Karen); and step-son, Bryce Thomas (Carol).

     He is survived by his siblings, Marge Medford, Clifford (Barb) Pannkuk, and Millie Bleeker; wife, Carol Thomas; children, Rhonda Hauge (Karen), JB (Peg) Mercer, Julie Howell, Mitch (Terri) Mercer, Molly (Dave) Dankel, and Mindy (Todd) Busse (with Sue); step-children (with Bonnie), Terry (Maggie) Lessmeier, Christine Lessmeier, and Russell Lessmeier; step-children (with Carol), Warren (Monica) Thomas, Timm Thomas, Brad Skinner (Dawn Detloff), Laura (Don) Johnson, and Susan (Lee) Nickerson; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

     Bud was a lifetime member of Amvets since 1955, where served as a post commander for 4 years, and a district commander for 2 terms (4 years). He was a member of the American Legion since 1955. Bud became active in the Sparta Lions Club in 1986, and was a member up until his death.  Bud was active in bowling for many years, as secretary 1956 and 1957, he entered the bowling association where he served for 26 years.  In 1978 he was elected as president of the bowling association, and was on the Bowling Hall of Fame in Fort Dodge Iowa. Bud was on 58 teams that won 1st place, during his bowling history.  Bud won 4 state and 4 National Guard doubles bowling association tournaments. He was a very proficient bowler, with (8) 300 games, (9) 299 games, and (2) 298 game. Bud was active in bowling up until Nov 2019, when he became ill.

     Bud was in the military for 27 years in active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserves.  He worked at Tobin/Hormel Packing Plant for 32 years, working as a mechanic in the Spam area the last 10 years. He owned and operated a carpet cleaning business, window, walls, and ceiling cleaning business.  Bud worked for Fuji film driver, contracted with Walmart for 10 ½ years. He never got a speeding ticket or got in an accident during this time. Bud had other odd jobs throughout his life.  He was always a hardworking, busy man. He always had a story to tell and a smile on his face, as well as a firm handshake.  He will be greatly missed.

    A celebration of life service will be held from 4:00 p.m., until 7:00 p.m., September 26, 2020, at the Sparta American Legion, 1116 Angelo Rd, Sparta WI. A luncheon served.  A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on October 10, 2020, at Harvest Baptist Church 614 2nd Ave S Fort Dodge, IA, with a luncheon following at 2622 Lainson Ave, Otho, IA 50569.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Duane "Bud" Pannkuk, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life gathering
September 26, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
American Legion
1116 Angelo Rd
Sparta, WI 54656

Celebration of Life
October 10, 2020

11:00 AM
Harvest Baptist Church
614 2nd Ave. S.
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

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