Cover photo for Richard W. Panyan's Obituary
Richard W. Panyan Profile Photo
1930 Richard 2020

Richard W. Panyan

January 17, 1930 — December 18, 2020

Richard William Panyan, age 90, of Gilbert, passed away peacefully on Friday Dec. 18, 2020, at Carefree Living in Virginia, Mn. 

He was born in Buhl, MN on January 17, 1930 to Matt and Emma (Skibba) Panyan. While growing up in Buhl, he participated in athletics and was All Conference in football,  winning a championship.  In basketball,  he narrowly lost in the championship to Hibbing. “Skeeter” as he was known to his friends, then headed to Virginia Junior College where he was an All Conference basketball player. After Virginia, he attended St. Thomas to study business.

After graduating from St. Thomas, he was selected into the Army in 1952, did his basic training at Fort Wayne, Indiana, then was sent to the Nevada desert to witness nuclear testing. For the remainder of the Korean War,  he was stationed in Germany as part of Occupational Forces. 

Returning to the States, he earned his teaching certificate in Mathematics from St. Cloud Teachers College.  He began his teaching career in Hill City, MN for one year.  Then, in 1957 he moved to Gilbert  with his new bride, the former Mary Patricia Bovitz of Chisholm, MN.  After five years and a new family,  they left for the Twin Cities. While there, Dick assumed a teaching assignment at Benilde for two years.  However, like most true Iron Rangers, he came back home.  He and Pat settled in the community of Gilbert with their family, where he continued teaching Mathematics and also coached basketball and tennis until his retirement in 1990.

Dick was a member of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, active as an usher, lector, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Dick loved to deer hunt with his sons,  pick blueberries, raspberries and garden with his wife Pat.  He was community-minded, volunteering many hours with the Boy Scouts and also planting/watering the flowers on Main Street.

Survivors include his wife Pat of 63 years; Children: Thomas (former wife Melody), James, Mary (Scott) Lechtenberg, Greg, and Rob (Suzi); Grandchildren: Jeremy, Leah, Luke (Ana Lu), Andrew “A.J.”, Ben, Matthew, and Erik; Several Nieces and Nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Matthew and Emma (Skibba) Panyan; Siblings: Basil (in infancy), Catherine Flanagan (Pat), and Elizabeth Fatticci (Mike).

Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday December 22, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert with Fr. Michael Garry as Celebrant.  Burial with full military honors accorded by the Gilbert VFW was in the Gilbert Cemetery.  Arrangements by Ziemer-Moglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.  Memorials may be directed to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert.



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, December 21, 2020

3:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home-Gilbert

108 Broadway, Gilbert, MN 55741

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