Jack I. Panish, 84, a 36-year Navy veteran and a longtime Norwalk resident, died Friday at Norwalk Hospital. Panish was born in the Bronx and enlisted when he was 17. He served during World War II, the Korean War and the Cuban missile crisis. His Naval assignments took him from San Diego to the Philippines and Korea as a torpedoman first class aboard the USS Walter C. Wann and USS Witek and during the Cuban missile crisis aboard the USS Coats.
After sea duty he was stationed in Bridgeport as a naval recruiter. In Whitestone, N.Y., he was promoted to master chief petty officer, the highest enlisted rank in the Navy, and was in charge of recruiters for the 15 northeastern states.
Panish received numerous distinguished service awards. He retired from the Navy in 1981 and was in charge of maintenance for Trans-Lux until he retired from there in 1986.
Panish and his wife, Lillian (Smath) Panish, were married for 62 years. They lived in Norwalk for 54 years, where he was a member of the VFW and an avid bowler in the Continental League at Rip Van Winkle Lanes. In his retirement he and his wife spent time taking trips to the Bahamas, Cape Cod and Mohegan Sun.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Kathy Avery and her husband, Cliff, of Norwalk, and two grandchildren.
The family will receive friends Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Ave. A funeral service will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial with full military honors will follow at Fairfield Memorial Park in Stamford. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jack's name to Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, PO Box 489, Wilton, CT 06897. For directions or to sign the online guest book, go to the funeral home's website .
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