Raymond Allen Pankopf passed away peacefully at his home in Asheville, NC on March 6, 2020. Allen, as he was known, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 7, 1932, to the late Raymond and Kathryn Pankopf. He is survived by five children, Kurt Pankopf and wife Carolyn of Davison, Michigan, Tekla Hilton of Pittsb…read more
Raymond Allen Pankopf passed away peacefully at his home in Asheville, NC on March 6, 2020. Allen, as he was known, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 7, 1932, to the late Raymond and Kathryn Pankopf. He is survived by five children, Kurt Pankopf and wife Carolyn of Davison, Michigan, Tekla Hilton of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kirsten Ruzicka and husband Phil of Matthews, North Carolina, Duncan Pankopf and wife Krista of Huntington Woods, Michigan, and Kathryn Oceguera and husband Camilo of Frankfort, Illinois. Allen is additionally survived by nine grandchildren, Joan Hayek and husband Chris, Amy Hilton, Audrey Ruzicka, Benjamin Ruzicka, Tucker Ruzicka, Kendall Pankopf, MacKenzie Pankopf, Cecilia Oceguera and Oliver Oceguera. He also leaves his brother, John Pankopf and wife Dawn of Northville, Michigan.
Allen graduated from Allegheny College in 1954, served two years on active duty with the Air Force, and then went into his family’s Ford business in Washington, Pennsylvania. In 1968, he married Mary Parkinson, his best friend, who survives him. In 1972, he and Mary and their children made a brief move to Columbia, Maryland, before settling in Houston, Texas for fifteen years. He was an automobile dealer while in Houston, following in his father’s footsteps. In 1987, he joined Northwood University in Midland, Michigan as Assistant Professor of Automotive Marketing. There, he spent twenty years educating and inspiring students in many disciplines. Upon retirement from Northwood, he was granted the honor of Professor Emeritus and was fondly celebrated by many of his former students.
In 2005, Allen and Mary built their dream home in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They were happy to escape the brutal winters of the north and have thoroughly enjoyed everything their new climate and locale has to offer. In 2016, Allen and Mary relocated to the Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community in Asheville, NC. They were welcomed with open arms into this caring and supportive community and Allen enjoyed the many new friends and activities he participated in there.
Over the course of his storied and accomplished life, Allen earned his pilot’s license, played tennis and golf competitively, became an accomplished amateur photographer, traveled the world with Mary, was a talented piano player, and even took violin lessons in his later years. He proudly served his community wherever he lived, most recently serving as president of his Hendersonville neighborhood homeowner’s association.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Deerfield and Care Partners Hospice for their immense support of Allen and the family during this difficult time.
A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held in Asheville, NC in the near future. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Blue Ridge Humane Society, 1214 Greenville Highway, Hendersonville, NC, 28792 or Deerfield Charitable Foundation (Healthcare Fund), 1617 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803.