Cover photo for Marjorie Pankratz's Obituary
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1921 Marjorie 2015

Marjorie Pankratz

April 5, 1921 — December 1, 2015

Marjorie I. (Smith) Pankratz of Waukegan, Illinois passed away December 1, 2015 at Rolling Hills Care Facility in Zion, Illinois. She was born in Pawnee Rock, Kansas on April 5, 1921 to Elrick and Clara Smith and spent her early years on the family farm with three younger siblings. She attended a one room school riding there on horseback and graduated from Pawnee Rock High School. Favorite activities were playing saxophone in the high school band, participating in the pep club, and working on the yearbook staff. She also took piano lessons year round and aspired to be a music teacher after college. She attended Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas earning a teaching certificate in elementary education. She met her future husband, Ronald E. Pankratz, at Bethel College working in the dining room. She was 17 and he was 20. On a hot and windy summer day, they were united in marriage at the Bergtal Mennonite Church in rural Pawnee Rock, Kansas on June 18, 1943. This union lasted for 62 years. The couple moved to St. Louis, Missouri for the first few years of their marriage, then to Decatur, Illinois, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Indianola, Iowa, Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, and finally to Waukegan, Illinois. Ronald's work as an analytical chemist led them to many different locations. She passed on her proficiency at the piano and love for music to her children and to many students over the course of her life, ceasing only when in her 80s. She sang in the church choir most of her life and she and Ronald were always attending concerts. She will be fondly remembered by the many students whose lives she touched as a substitute elementary teacher in Winthrop Harbor, Wadsworth, Waukegan, and Zion. As a long time member of Faith United Methodist Church in Waukegan, she served on many committees and served as a church officer, worked ceaselessly on their annual bazaar, peeled thousands of apples for the pie sale, and played the piano and organ during their services. After the children were out of the nest, she and Ronald were able to indulge a passion for traveling visiting Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, and a cruise to Alaska. She is survived by seven of her eight children; Susan (Terry) Anderson of Fairmont, MN, Christine (David) Reichert of Gurnee, IL, Frieda (Christopher) Scott of Sydney, Australia, Peter (Judy) Pankratz of Atlanta, GA, Rebecca Bailey of Burlington, WI, Linda Joscht of Oak Lawn, IL, and Gretchen Pankratz of Gurnee, IL. Nine grandchildren; Pamela (Phillip Goldsmith) Pankratz, Jessica (Reichert) Trebelhorn, Alexandra Goodwin, Cassandra (Bailey)(Andy) Holst, Jacob (Tracey) Reichert, Morgan (Bailey)(Mike) Burian, Max Pankratz, Joseph (Emily) Pankratz, and Leslie (Matthew) Henkel, and sixteen great grandchildren; Alden Goldsmith, Nicholas Trebelhorn, Joshua Trebelhorn, Kayla Burian, Devon Burian, Anya (Goodwin) Andersen, Caleb (Bailey)Drury, Thora Holst, Anneke Holst, Levi Henkel, Bailey Henkel, Edy Pankratz, Beatrix Pankratz, Ethan Schueneman, Colten Reichert, Griffin Reichert, and a sister, Irma "Lucy" Baughman. She was preceded in death by her parents, Elrick and Clara Smith, husband Ronald Pankratz, son Ronald Pankratz, brothers Charles Smith and Virgil Smith, and son-in-law John Joscht. After a private internment service, a memorial service will be held at noon at the Faith United Methodist Church on Friday, December 11, 2015 with lunch to follow. Please make a donation to the Alzheimer's Foundation in lieu of flowers.

Interment Details

Warren Cemetery & Mausoleum

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