Cover photo for Mary "Pat" Panyan's Obituary
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1934 Mary 2022

Mary "Pat" Panyan

October 5, 1934 — December 3, 2022

Mary Patricia Panyan

October 5, 1934 – December 3, 2022

Mary “Pat” Panyan,88, of Gilbert passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at Carefree Living in Virginia. 

She was born in Fraser, MN on Oct 5, 1934 to John and Mary (Mestek) Bovitz.  While growing up in Fraser she was outside as often as possible.  She loved to skip rope, play baseball, ski behind cars, and slide down the mine dumps. She also played the French horn and later baritone in the Chisholm HS band, and played the violin in the orchestra, accompanying plays in the Hibbing auditorium.  After graduating from Chisholm HS in 1952, she completed a secretarial course at Hibbing Jr College. When she graduated, she took a job with an accounting firm in Hibbing.  She married Richard William Panyan in 1957, and they moved to Gilbert where Dick started teaching.  They lived in Gilbert 68 years and raised 5 children.  They were members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, where Pat was involved in the Ladies Guild and helped put on fundraising fashion shows.  She taught catechism, led the Funeral Choir and served many meals. She always brought apple strudel to the funeral meals.

Pat was active in the community, planting and watering flowers on Main Street, delivering Meals on Wheels, and participating in the Heritage Days events by selling apple strudel and potica.  She loved to bake and cook.  It was easy to attract the neighbor kids over for homemade bread, buns, and pizza.  For many years she sold Christmas cookies and then apple strudel and potica out of her home. She loved to play the violin and played in the Mesabi Community Orchestra into her 70’s.

She planned memorable tent-camper vacations for the family and was a cheerful and encouraging spectator at countless athletic contests, first at Gilbert HS and Mesabi CC for her children and then many events for her grandchildren.  Pat’s real passion was her devotion to her husband, five children, and grandchildren.  

Pat is survived by her children: Thomas (former wife Melody), James, Mary (Scott) Lechtenberg, Greg, and Rob (former wife Suzi); grandchildren: Jeremy, Leah, Luke (Ana Lu), Andrew “AJ,” Ben, Matthew, and Erik; sisters: Peg Kealy (Ron), Charlotte Radotich (Ron); brother, John Bovitz (Kathy), and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard, her parents, John and Mary (Mestek) Bovitz, and sister Dorothy Kinney (Howard)

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Dec 9, 10:00am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert with Fr. Justin Fish as Celebrant.  Visitation will be Thursday from 5:00-7:00pm at Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.

Burial will be in the Gilbert Cemetery.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Friday, December 9, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Louisiana Ave W, Gilbert, MN 55741

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