February 19, 1932 – May 9, 2019
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 AM 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, 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; half-brother Stanley; and a nephew, Rick Weaver.
- Gene Bateman, Honorary Bearer
- Curly Christensen, Honorary Bearer
- Ron Garska, Honorary Bearer
- Dale Giboney, Honorary Bearer
- Bill Juelfs, Honorary Bearer
- Leon Michel, Honorary Bearer
- Don Mohrman, Honorary Bearer
- Bob Smith, Honorary Bearer
- Bridgeport Library
- In Care of the Family
- Memorial Service Friday, May 17, 2019
Helen and Norman McConnell
May 15, 2019
Norman and I both have fond memories of Joe. Norman's go back to playing pool during the lunch hour in high school. I especially appreciated his firmly sending teen-agers home when they needed to be sent home. And, we have enjoyed knowing his daughters and grandchildren here in Alliance. We pray that God will wrap each of you in your happy memories and comfort you with the peace that God knows and cares for you.
Helen and Norman
May 12, 2019
My sympathy to all of Joes family.... I grew up in Bridgeport and Joe was on of the city officers that kept us out of trouble. He was always fair with us kids and firm.. when he said go home... You went home. I just retired from being a Colorado State Trooper after 30 years.. most of the reason I chose the path in my life was Joe Pankowski and Ron Garska.. they took care of us kids and helped us along the way.. Sorry for Joe he was a good friend. I haven't been back to Bridgeport in awhile but fortunately couple of weeks ago I was in with mom and dad for breakfast and Joe was there and gave me chance to catch him and say hi...