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James Dean Panknin Sr.

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James Dean Panknin Sr. Obituary
Panknin, James Dean Sr. NATIONAL CITY -- To his three sons growing up, he was Superman, to everyone who met him, he was a Marine's Marine fiercely loyal to his wife and family, who proudly served his country. On the outside he was a tough guy, but inside he had the kindest heart which is why he was loved by all who knew him and allowed him to succeed as a leader of Marines, VFW Post Commander and small business owner. Born in Huron, South Dakota, to Gottfried Panknin and Doris Irene Hershman. Jim spent his younger years in Meadow Grove and Neligh, Nebraska, and his teenage years in the Franklin Park suburb of Chicago area where he graduated from Leyden Community High School in 1956. He joined the Marine Corps out of high school and was the honor grad of his boot camp platoon at MCRD San Diego. After a tour in Motor "T" as a CO's driver at Camp Pendleton, he was selected for Embassy Duty assigned to Tunis, Tunisia, where he met his wife of 52 years, Paulette Maruani. After Tunis, Sergeant Panknin returned to Camp Lejeune and Motor "T" where he was the CG's driver (future Commandant L.F. Chapman, Jr). He made a career change to Aviation Ordnance in 1962 which led to a selection to Warrant Officer and a successful long military career in the Ordnance community. He served in billets all over the world and participated in the Vietnam conflict and Operations Eagle Pull & Frequent Wind. Major Panknin retired from the Marine Corps in 1982 and became a successful small business owner in Havelock, NC. He opened a craft store, "Craftiques LTD" to take advantage of his natural artistic talent. After several years the business pivoted into "Craftiques Glass Repair" where he became a first adopter of the windshield repair technologies that are common today. He thoroughly enjoyed this business because he had an endless supply of customers and he set his own schedule. He filled his free time in with blue water deep sea fishing, the Havelock VFW Post and being a frustrated Cubs and Bears fan. Jim and Paula moved out of North Carolina to Paradise Village in National City in 2012. He is survived by his wife Paula, his three sons, 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Jim lived up to Ronald Reagan's famous words regarding Marines never having to wonder if they made a difference, he left the world a better place and he will be missed.
Published in U-T San Diego on June 23, 2013
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