August 14, 2022

Dee L. Panter


Dee L. Panter, age 89, of Elkhart, Kansas, left his family and friends and went home to dwell with his Savior on Sunday, April 23, 2017. He was born on the family farm in rural Smith County, Kansas on July 9, 1927, the son of Clyde and Delilah(Cannon) Panter. 

After graduation from high school in Athol, Kansas, Dee enlisted in the United States Army. He served in the Occupational Forces in Japan and was given the duty of transporting the Japanese Generals from the jail to the war crimes trials and back every day. He witnessed these trials. He then was shipped off to Korea and pulled hazardous guard duties while also transporting generals to meetings and negotiations prior to and at the outbreak of hostilities. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran. After being discharged, he attended radio school in Omaha, Nebraska, and recorded a country western album. It was at this time, Dee met, courted, and married the love of his life, Rosanne Jones. From this union came three children. After farming for several years, he began working for the U.S. Department of Interior Helium Division which was instrumental for NASA and other governmental usage. With this work the family lived in Shiprock, New Mexico, EXCEL Plant in Masterson, Texas, Keyes, Oklahoma, and finally Elkhart, Kansas. He retired from government service in 1984. After retirement, Dee continued to work, first owning a local liquor store, then as a crop insurance adjuster, and finally as camp ground host and store manager in the Teton Parks of Wyoming. 

His loves and interests were many. He loved wheat harvest, traveling to the big rodeos, and yodeling and singing. He was an avid golfer, bowler, an airplane pilot, and ham radio operator. He was instrumental in keeping the Boy Scouts of America Troop 199 alive in Elkhart as a scout master. Dee was a member of The Mandan Council, Order of the Arrow. He made sure the family took many vacations every year, leaving so many memories and laughter. Before passing, Dee had the honor of enjoying his Veteran Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. and being baptized at the First Church of God in Elkhart.

Dee leaves behind his family; wife, Rosanne Panter of the home; children, Dwight Panter of Aurora, Colorado, Jo Jean Johnson and husband Mike of Yarbrough, Oklahoma, and Justin Panter of Boquete, Panama; and sister, Betty Smith of Smith Center, Kansas; grandchildren, Melodee Brinster and husband Chris of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, Arlo Panter of Denver, Colorado, Mikala Johnson and Dane Towler of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma , Kayle Watkins and husband Kyle of Moore, Oklahoma,; and great-granddaughters, Rosalee and Ramona Brinster and Sawyer Watkins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Delilah Panter; and brother, Duane “Pete” Panter.

Funeral service will be Friday, April 28, 2017, at 10:00 AM at First Church of God in Elkhart, Kansas, with Pastor Denny Huebner officiating. Burial will follow at Elkhart Cemetery with military rites conducted by Point Rock Post #3162 of Elkhart, Kansas. Visitation will be Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Garnand Funeral Home in Elkhart. Memorial contributions may be given to the American Diabetes Association or the First Church of God in care of Garnand Funeral Home, PO Box 854, Elkhart, KS 67950.