PANCO, WILLIAM THEODORE, |
85, passed away April 19, 2013 in Winter Park, Fl. Born in Kingston, PA on August 23, 1927, Bill was the only child of Nicholas Panco and Mary Benotsky. Bill graduated from Long Beach High School in 1944, entered the US Navy, and served honorably as Petty Officer, 3rd Class aboard the USS Texas during WWII. After the war, Bill began his career as a chef in the grand resort hotels along the Eastern Seaboard. Catherine Smith, a lively schoolteacher working as a waitress for the summer season, caught Bill's eye and captured his heart. Catherine Smith and Bill Panco married in 1950, and settled in Winter Park, FL in 1952. For many years, Bill Panco was the chef at the Farragut Hotel in Rye Beach, NH and its companion facilities in Winter Park, FL: the Seminole Hotel and Virginia Inn. In 1968, Bill became the chef at Meiner's Catering of Orlando, and provided countless memorable dinners for private and corporate events. Bill retired in 1992, but never completely hung up his apron and toque-he continued to inspire and teach his children and grandchildren the techniques of creating good food. His beloved wife, Kay, passed away in 1993. In retirement, Bill took up bird carving, furniture making, and organic gardening. A lifelong baseball fan, Bill enjoyed American League games and cheered for the Boston Red Sox. Bill was a loving husband, great dad, and a devoted grandfather. Left to cherish his memory are daughters, Christine Panco; Carolyn Gould (Andrew); Marianne Aparicio (Julio); son, Jonathan W. Panco; grandson Nathan Elias; granddaughter, Katie Gould; & niece, Donnajean Cronce. Visitation at 11am, followed by funeral service at 12n on Saturday, April 27 at DeGusipe Funeral Home, Maitland, 9001 N. Orlando Ave. Memorial donations may be given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central and Northern Florida; 1020 North Orlando Avenue, Suite 100, Maitland, FL 32751.
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Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Apr. 25, 2013