Death of Urban Panther
I am sad to report the death of my Uncle Urban Panther. He was born May 6, 1917 in St. Paul, Lee County, Iowa to Benedict Panther and Elizabeth Menke Panther and died December 7, 2012 in West Point, Lee County, Iowa at the age of 95. "Slug", as he was known, married Bertha Pulskamp on Jun 21, 1949 in Hillsboro, Traill County, North Dakota. He was the father of 11 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood. He worked the family farm on highway 218 in Lee County Iowa that his father farmed before him. He passed it along to his son John Anthony Panther, who preceded him in death in 2006.
I remember going to southeast Iowa to visit my aunts, uncles and cousins, typically at least once per year growing up back in the 1970s. Many years, Mom and Dad would drop me off at the farm where I'd stay with Urban's family for most of the entire vacation.
Urban was a great man. Hard working and honest. My mom told me about his nickname, Slug. She always thought that they called him that because he was tough and he could really slug a baseball. She said she was heartbroken when she learned that he got the nickname because he didn't move very fast. Slow as a slug. It's funny, at the Panther reunion 4 years ago, I remember talking to my cousin, Urban's son, Greg. I said, "Your dad's still getting around pretty good for 91 years old. Not very fast but he's getting around." Greg replied something along the lines of, "He's never been very fast."
Mom is heading to my house this morning and we'll hit the road to pay our respects to her brother Urban and his family.