Monday, July 4, 2022

Maureen C. Panko, 64

SOUTHPORT — Maureen Doyle Panko died peacefully on Wednesday May 18, 2022, with her husband Bob, family and friends at her side, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.

Maureen was born February 15,1958 in Long Island, NY to the late Vincent and Anne Doyle. Because her father was a GM corporate executive, she had the opportunity to live and go to school in Brazil and the United Kingdom, before the family settled in Westchester County, New York. She was a graduate of LIM College, the NY School of Fashion and Design.

She met the love of her life and “her forever Boyfriend”, Bob Panko, and married him in May 2,1987. They settled in North Brunswick, New Jersey where she helped raise Bob’s two sons, Jamie and Nick. In 1989 the family was brightened and made complete by the addition of their son Alex.

Maureen had a natural ability and ease with young children. For 16 years she devoted her time to the pre-K classes at St Matthias Parish and School. It was pure joy for her to introduce their minds to art, music, and early learning. This was evident every time Maureen met and interacted with children.

When Bob retired in 2012, they left New Jersey for their dream home on the North Carolina coast. She and Bob developed many close friendships during their time in Southport. The home of her dreams was always welcoming and inviting, and they hosted many memorable get-togethers and celebrations over the years. Her kindness, love, warmth, and infectious laugh will be greatly missed. She was a devoted and generous friend to all who had the privilege of knowing her.

She was a major contributor to the St James Service Club and a committee member with the Southport Women’s Club. While teaching pre-school, she also worked for years at Talbots where is developed her personal style as a “Talbots Model”. Maureen came to work at Mad River in Southport in the fall of 2015 shortly after the opening. Not only did she bring her clever sales skills and dependable work ethic, but she also made new friends of customers and quickly became the “face of Mad River.” She set the bar with her classy wardrobe and that always “put together” look. Many said that they never met anyone but Maureen who could sell something I didn’t know I needed and make it fun!

During her fight with cancer, Maureen was sustained by the love of family, countless friends, spirituality, and a strong faith in God. Unselfish to the end, her concern was not for herself in the final days, but instead for the family she would be leaving behind. Their loss is immeasurable.

Her son Alex said, “Mom loved sunset walks and dancing on the beach with family. She had a heart filled with endless love and a style that was “effortlessly classy.” For Mom, life’s challenges could be solved with a long conversation over a spot of tea. Style and class, yes. She was known to all as forever looking fabulous, whether it was a formal event or working in the garden.”

Maureen is predeceased by her parents, brothers Kevin and Brian, and sister Fran Gaffney. Surviving are her loving husband of 35 years, Bob Panko, and sons – Jamie and wife Mary of New Jersey, Nick and wife Melissa of Nebraska, Alex and wife Melanie of Massachusetts; adored grandchildren Kaelyn and Julietta of Nebraska, Harrison and Marianne of New Jersey, River and soon to be grandchild, “baby Panko“ of Massachusetts; sisters Karen Doyle Krizan (Brock) of Washington, Regina Doyle Symonds (Charlie) of Massachusetts, brother – in law Kevin Gaffney of NJ; nieces Kara, Erin, Katie, Claire, Jill and Rachel.

Services are scheduled for June 20, 2022, with a 11am funeral mass at Sacred Heart Church in Southport followed at 12:15pm by a celebration of life in the church social hall. Services and celebration will be planned in New Jersey for late July. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations can be made in Maureen’s name to St Jude Children’s Hospital.

Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service

1411 N Howe St Southport, NC 28461 (910) 457-6944

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