Gary Lee Pansier, 83, of Crivitz, Wisconsin passed away at his home on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Joan, his sisters, Beverly Berken and Donna C. Pansier of De Pere, Wisconsin. Surviving are also his nieces, nephews and cousins who meant so much to him and he dearly loved spending time with them.
Gary was married to the former Joan Renee Bader, from Ogden, Utah. They celebrated 35 years of marriage on June 16, 2019.
Gary was born in De Pere, Wisconsin on January 24, 1937. In high school he was active in sports, lettering for four years in football, basketball and track. He graduated from West De Pere High School in 1955 and attended Northern Michigan University, Rippon College, Wisconsin State College on football scholarships. He was the All Conference Captain of the football team for Oshkosh in 1962. In 1963 Gary graduated from Oshkosh State College earning a Bachelor of Science Degree and played defense for the semi-professional football team, the Manitowoc Chiefs in 1964. During this time he also served with the U.S. Army Reserves in Tacoma, Washington and Colorado Springs, Colorado and received an honorable discharge in 1963.
After graduation, Gary worked for National Geographic in St. Louis, Missouri until he was hired as a commercial airline pilot by Airwest in San Francisco, California. He flew as a First Officer for Airwest Airlines, Hughes Airwest Airlines, Republic AirLines and Northwest Airlines, and was based in San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. He retired as a Captain on the Boeing MD-80 Aircraft in 1997. His wife, Joan, worked with him as a Flight Attendant, and Gary liked to say that how fortunate he was to have a wife who waited on him both at work and at home!
Gary’s passions included the love for his wife, his passion for his country, our Constitution and the Rule of Law that we are blessed with as Americans. They also included his love for football, flying, horseback riding in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, the Green Bay Packers, and all his beloved pets. His infectious smile always expressed the incredible joy he felt for life, his friends and his family.
Toward the end of his life on this earth, Gary expressed a desire that his legacy would be that “whenever you think of me, I hope it brings a smile to your face.” He also expressed a strong desire to join all the precious dogs in heaven who crossed the Rainbow Bridge who he had known and loved throughout his life.
Joan would like to thank Unity Hospice, especially Cheryl and Katherine, for the exceptional End of Life Care they provided and continue to provide.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a celebration of Gary’s life will be held for friends and family that will be announced at a later date. For those whose lives he touched, online condolences may be expressed online at www.rhodescharapata.com.