Merle passed away on June 27, 2018 at his home in Thousand Oaks with his loving wife, Jackie, at his side.
Merle was born in 1930 to Fred and Della Pannkuk in Lakota, IA, where he was raised on a farm. After graduating from Lakota High School, he left home to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Merle was drafted into the Army, serving at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, TX during the Korean War. He was assigned to White Sands Missile School until he was discharged in June of 1954.
After serving in the military, Merle completed two courses in Mechanical Engineering and Thermodynamics at UCLA and then transferred to USC in 1954 to complete his Master’s Degree in Engineering.
His education complete, Merle married Jackie in El Paso, TX on March 27, 1955. Their son, Terrell, was born in 1956 and their daughter, Julie, born in 1958. Julie passed away in 2006 from Leukemia.
When Merle was at Macalester College, he was actively involved in a flying club. His interest in aviation followed him to California where he became co-owner of an airplane at the Santa Monica Airport. Merle’s other interests included fishing, hunting, golf, waterskiing, coaching his son’s Little League, working with the Boy Scouts, attending church, woodworking and traveling. He was a huge Dodgers fan and also an avid LA Lakers fan. He loved his family and friends and enjoyed attending all of the grandchildren’s activities.
Merle is survived by his wife, Jackie; son, Dr. Terrell Pannkuk (Diane); grandsons, Riley, Rory and Jacob; granddaughter, Abby (always calling her his favorite granddaughter); brother, Arlo (Janice); two brother-in-laws; two sister-in-laws; and many special nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 10:30am in the Chapel of the Hills at Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, 2052 Howard Road in Camarillo, CA; reception to follow in the Community Room. Donations may be made in Merle’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, City of Hope or Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Thousand Oaks, CA.
...Family in the care of Erin Arteaga, Funeral Director