Mary Panek passed away peacefully on February 10 at Clepper Manor CCRR in Sharon, PA. Mary Agnes Babinchak was born the youngest child of Anna and Michael Babinchak on a small farm in Bloomfield, Ohio on May 25, 1921. Mary loved music and loved life, playing clarinet in the Bloomfield High School Band. She wanted to experience life so she moved to Warren, Ohio taking a position as housekeeper for a family there. She did this so that she could attend Warren G. Harding High School for her senior year. As World War II loomed, she visited her brother Johnny Babinchak, a Merchant Marine (organization later known as the Coast Guard), in San Diego California. While visiting Johnny they went to a USO dance event for service members. There she met Ladimer Panek, a Marine from tiny Cuba, Kansas, who was stationed there awaiting his orders from the Marines. Love at first sight? Probably! Ladimer soon was dispatched to fight in the Pacific Theater, but Mary and Ladimer stayed in touch. Mary felt she should help the war effort too, so she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corp, (WAC’s), serving as a chauffeur for military personnel in Washington DC during the war. The highlight of her service was when she transported Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower (wife of the president). At the end of the war Ladimer and Mary reunited and married. Exciting times, and she loved to reminisce! In her later years she enjoyed the Cleveland Indians, attending activities at her local SCOPE location, the board game RummiCubes, and playing bingo with all her friends at Clepper Manor CCR.
Preceding her in death were her parents Anna and Michael Babinchak and siblings: Anna Jesman Marsh, Michael Babinchak Jr., Helen Siwicki, and Johnny Babinchak; her husband: Ladimer William Panek and two (2) beloved sons Edward Ladimer Panek and Michael John Panek. Mary Panek would have turned 100 on her next birthday May 25th this year.
Survivors include children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren: Dennis William (Kathleen)Panek, Cheryl Lynn Panek, Thomas Raymond (Ginger) Panek; Leslie Damore (David) Zoladz, Libby Damore (Shawn) Mincks, Nicole Marie Gladysz, Michael Henry (Stacey) Gladysz, Tommy Ladimer Panek; Madelyn Mincks, Mason Mincks, Zachary Zoladz, Zoey Zoladz, Evan Gladysz, Ethan Gladysz, Brooke Gladysz, Leila Kinnear, Ruby Gladysz and Rowan Gladysz, in addition to several nieces and nephews.
The family is appreciative of the wonderful care and compassion from the staff and nurses at Clepper Manor where she made her home for the past several years.
Plans are being made for a celebration of Mary’s life to be held in the spring. Monetary donations can be made in Mary’s name to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Sinchak & Sons Funeral Home of Warren.
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