Theodore “Ted” Panas was the seventh of nine children born to Ilias “Louie” Panagenas (Panas) of Laliotes, Corinth Greece, and Estavroula “Stella” Kapitaneas, of Pyrgos Laconia, Greece. He was born on April 25, 1936 in Bridgeport Nebraska.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Peter and Andrew, his sisters Angeline and Gloria, and his sister-in-law Helen. He is survived by his wife Kathryn, their children Michael, Christine and Jeffrey, grandchildren Bryson, Kenton, Creighton, and Sophia, great grandchildren Merritt and Mason, his siblings John, Nick, Sophie and Jim, and many nieces and nephews.
As a youth, Ted was a star athlete, excelling at football. He was sidelined by a head injury that left him in a coma for several months. Prior to his injury, he was recruited to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and remained an avid fan all his life. He also excelled at theater and was the lead in school plays.
After high school, Ted joined the military and served 21 years in the US Air Force, including serving four tours of duty in Vietnam. He began his career with the Strategic Air Command, 7th Air Force. He was later transferred to Tactical Air Command, with a Wild Weasels squadron based in Thailand, maintaining the F105s. He was a munitions specialist. During his career, Ted and the family were stationed at base locations in Rapid City SD, Wichita Falls TX, Istanbul Turkey, Clovis NM, Newburgh NY, Ft. Smith AR, and Fayetteville NC where he retired in 1976 and moved to Berryville AR.
Post-retirement, Ted focused on family, gardening, work, and volunteerism. He was passionate about his role as a Hunter Safety Instructor for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and taught classes from the late 70s to well into the 90s.
Ted was an avid gardener with a green thumb, growing large quantities of fruits and vegetables which, he often gave to his elderly neighbors. He worked as a groundskeeper at the Great Passion Play.
Unknown to most, Ted had a natural talent for charcoal sketching and did portraits of people he found interesting.
Ted passed away peacefully in the early morning hours May 15, 2019 at the age of 83.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Ozark Mountain Veterans (non-profit organization). Checks made payable to Ozark Mountain Veterans c /o Vincent Eastwood 377 CR 6450 Green Forest, AR 72638. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Nelson Funeral Service. Online condolences may be sent to the family at nelsonfuneral.com. © Nelson Funeral Service, Inc. 2019