Wednesday, May 24th, 2023
Norm Pankop, 78, of Rockford, Ohio left this earthly life on May 19, 2023 to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He was born on March 2, 1945 to the late Harold and Doris (Imhoff) Pankop.
Norm grew up on a farm in Dekalb County, IN. He was a member of the last graduating class of Ashley High School in 1963. He attended Valparaiso University for 2 years.
Norm worked as a radio newsman for 10 years in Fort Wayne, Auburn, and Decatur. After that, he worked for 21 years at the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center. Norm began his sobriety on February 14, 1988, during which time he began to help others overcome their alcoholism. He celebrated 35 years of sobriety proudly.
Norm became passionate about serving in the church, specifically focusing on missions. He was a member of Rockford UMC for over 10 years, where he served as a Trustee and was on the Missions Board. He founded Bible For Believers at RUMC in 2014 and served in that mission faithfully, despite his sickness, as its leader until his death. Norm had a passion to help the persecuted church and helped the organization, Open Doors, in their mission to bring the gospel to believers in dangerous places.
Survivors include his lifetime companion of 21 years, Priscilla Helmer of Rockford; son, Brian Pankop; daughter, Ginger Bixler; and grandson, Jeremy Bixler, all of Fort Wayne, IN; sisters Sheila Oppel (King, NC) and Leatha Fairchild (Butler, IN). Also surviving is a special cousin who was a big sister to Norm, Mary Bernahl (Chicago, IL).
Preceding Norm in death was a brother, Nelson Pankop, and a cousin who was a big brother, Wayne Pankop.
A memorial service will be held 1:30 pm Friday, May 26, 2023 at Rockford United Methodist Church, 202 S. Franklin St., Rockford, OH 45882, with Pastor Chip Steffy officiating.
Online condolences may be shared at www.ketchamripley.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ketcham Ripley Funeral Home, 111 W. First St., Rockford, OH 45882.