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Funeral Service Set for Chuck Panuska, Longtime Optimist, Parade Organizer

The Optimist Club of Dundalk member was chairman of Dundalk's Independence Day parade for many years.

Water lily. Photo by Marge Neal
Water lily. Photo by Marge Neal
Longtime Dundalk resident Charles Joseph "Chuck" Panuska died Dec. 30. He was 83.

Panuska was a lifetime member of the Optimist Club of Dundalk and while he was a "behind the scenes" man, he played a vital role for many years in one of Greater Dundalk's more visible events—he chaired the town's 4th of July parade.

A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Panuska's life will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Rita Catholic Church, 2907 Dunleer Road. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery, according to the Connelly Funeral Home of Dundalk website.

Panuska is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bernadine Shirley Panuska; sons Allan (Gina) and Keith (Kelly) and daughter Katherine Harlow (Jody); brother The Rev. Joseph Allan Panuska S.J.; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Barbara and Joseph Panuska, brothers William and John Panuska and sister Maryann Grzmala, according to the funeral home's death notice.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Connelly Funeral Home of Dundalk, 7110 Sollers Point Road.
Gene Bertoni Sr January 01, 2014 at 11:43 AM
I'm so sorry do this loss Mr Panuska was a great man. He was one of my unspoken mentors growing up. He was a major asset for Dundalk. Great men will follow for the betterment of Dundalk but they will be hard shoes to fill... A great & kind man !!!!!!!
Buzz Beeler January 01, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Chuck was a true gentleman until the end. At times I would pick him and his wife Shirley up for the dinner meetings. He was always very thankful. He still wanted to be part of the organization and participate in anyway he could. I remember one night I was helping him up the steps and he lost his balance. He fell backward and I know it must have hurt, but being the trooper he was, he brushed himself and carried on as if nothing had happened. He along with his wife Shirley spent a large portion of their lives making he Optimist the great organization it has become. Gene is right; they will be hard shoes to fill!
Jake Mohorovic January 01, 2014 at 12:33 PM
Chuck was a special individual who led by example.

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