Marilyn Ruth (Engelhardt) Panak, 89, was carried home into the portals of Glory on Sunday April 30, 2023 to spend eternity with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ where she there met up once again with her beloved husband Howard LeBron “Bob” Panak who preceded her in death on June 30, 1991.
Marilyn was loved so very much by her daughters and she truly loved them. She too genuinely loved her four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and they truly loved her. Even though miles separated our family, all were still close to Mom’s heart. Her family truly was everything to her! Our mother was diagnosed as a little girl with a heart condition and to give back she would for years walk door to door raising money for the American Heart Association. We are so thankful to God for giving her life with us for 89 years. We’ll always remember after our father passed how she filled right in watching with us our favorite sports teams and we loved watching with her. Mom’s favorite teams were Notre Dame and the Chicago Bears. She always made our house a home. We’ll always remember Moms love for family which really shone through when we were all together for the holidays. Mom was a wonderful piano player. She was so good that our father presented her with a Baby Grand piano for their anniversary. She would play for us at the holidays and even taught a few songs to two of her daughters. To even further share her love for the piano, one Christmas when Grandma visited her granddaughters she gave them a Christmas song book with a battery operated piano that one of her granddaughters couldn’t put down. Mom was a great cook too and she truly enjoyed cooking for everyone and we savored every bite; especially Dad. He loved her cooking. She wasn’t a perfectionist but everything she cooked or baked she truly put her heart into it whether it was cutting every potato that went into her potato salad into these perfect bite size cubes or whipping the cream cheese until it was just right for her cherry cheesecake. She wanted it to be just right for her family. She enjoyed for herself what she called her “tasty little morsel” (sweet treat) which she loved with her morning coffee or at evening time. Cake was her absolute favorite. She was good to us growing up and did her best to raise us right even though we still rebelled at times. After our father passed, Mom lived through the years thereafter on Pretty Lake in Plymouth with her eldest daughter and grandson whom she was fortunate enough to have a hand in raising and she also truly enjoyed being a part of her grandsons golf career. For her daughters and granddaughters who lived miles apart, we miss her sweet phone voice. She was always there when needed to listen and encourage us.¬† We prayed with her, laughed with her, sang songs with her or just talked about whatever. During the last five years of her life in Texas she loved living with her Pumpie dog. He was a German Shorthaired Pointer and she couldn’t get enough of him. She would tell us he was human because he was so smart! Her favorite book of the Bible was Psalms, her favorite color was red especially in lipstick. She was a classy lady and some say she was larger than life.
She dearly loved our father and he dearly loved her. We are so very blessed to say both Mom and Dad made it into the Kingdom of Heaven to meet their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We do grieve now, but we who are born again also rejoice knowing one day soon we will join them in eternity forever. We love you Mom, Grandma, with our whole heart and we miss you so very much.
Marilyn is survived by her daughters: Lori Ann Panak of Midlothian TX, Marcy Grace White of Sarasota FL, and Merry Lee Jett of Hansford WV; grandson Matthew Lee Engel (Kristy) Panak; granddaughters: Ashley Marie Jett, Amber Nichole (Thomas) Bowen, and Amelia Lynn Jett along with seven great- grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her father Edmond T. Engelhardt, mother Grace Engelhardt; sister Dorothy Ann Sims.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 19, 2023 from 11-12 pm at the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth. Funeral services will immediately follow with Fr. Fernando Jimenez  and Life Celebrant James Smart officiating.
Burial will take place in the Fairview Cemetery, Mishawaka.