Frances “Fran” E. Panko, 79, of Tecumseh, formerly of Burr, died Saturday morning, August 17, 2013. She was born on April 1, 1934, in Nebraska City to Frank and Ella (Schroeder) Biere. She attended country school near Lorton, Nebraska, and graduated from Nebraska City High School. She worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Al Souders in Nebraska City before her marriage.
Fran married Delton Panko on May 12, 1956, at Bethel United Church of Christ in Nebraska City, and together they raised three children. Fran was locally notorious for her cooking and baking, and she was fiercely interested in politics. She enjoyed gardening and generally got everyone to where they needed to be and kept the household running smoothly. Despite a number of health issues over her lifetime, she maintained a sometimes ornery sense of humor.
Survivors include her husband; Delton of Tecumseh, son Mark Panko and wife Kim of Burr; daughter Julie Haberman and husband Bob of Lincoln; and daughter Jane Kuhl and husband Gary of Elk Creek, grandchildren, Ryan Panko and fiancee Kebra Claiborne of Peabody, KS; Bret Panko and Tyler Damme and wife Kate of Lincoln; Katie Kuhl of Omaha; Anna Kuhl of Elk Creek; step grandsons Jeremy Klein and wife Nicki of Uehling and Josh Haberman of Waco, great-granddaughter, Emma Panko and step great-grandchildren Reagan and Jamison Klein and Vanessa Haberman. Fran is also survived by a sister, Eleanor Parish of Montrose, CO, brother Earl Biere and wife Marie of Brock, sister-in-law Marilyn Ach and husband Howard of Friend, and many nieces and nephews.
Fran was preceded in death by her parents, brother Allan Biere, brother-in-law Frank Parish, and step great-grandson Owen Klein.
Services will be held on Saturday, August 24th, at 10:30 a.m. at Martin Luther Church south of Johnson, with Rev. Bruce Berggren officiating. Grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers. Inurnment will be in the Martin Luther Cemetery, rural Johnson, following the service. Register book signing will be at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Friday, August 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Memorials may go to the family’s choice. Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.