Donald Pankow

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 6:22 pm

Donald William Pankow, age 88, of Cedar Falls, formerly of Decorah and Cresco, died Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 at Western Home in Cedar Falls.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday March 1, 2024 at Jerico Lutheran Church with Rev. Peter Faugstad presiding.

Friends may greet the family two hours prior to the service on Friday at the church.

Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton has been entrusted with Donald’s services.  Online condolences for the Pankow family may be left at

Born on Jan. 20, 1936, in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa, to Carl and Catherine (Casey) Pankow, Donald was the eldest of four boys. He was baptized on Feb. 2 at St. Benedict Church in Decorah, Iowa, and from an early age, he demonstrated qualities of generosity, kindness, and a caring nature.

Donald attended school in Decorah, graduating from high school in 1956. His commitment to his community was evident as he assisted his father in maintaining St. Benedict Church in Decorah. On April 1st, 1967, in Cresco, he married the love of his life, Mabel Anderson. The couple established their home in Cresco and shared many years of joy and companionship until Mabel’s passing. Following this, Donald moved to Decorah, where he continued to embrace life with open arms.

Donald was a man of simple pleasures, finding joy in activities such as fishing and bike rides around Decorah. His mornings were spent at the local barbershop, engaging in friendly conversations with friends. A dedicated community member, he also took pride in serving coffee at the bakery every morning and tending to the flowers at The Decorah State Bank.

Known for his love of family, Donald cherished moments spent with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His passion for family vacations, car rides, and his enthusiasm for trains, gardening, polka, and dancing brought joy to those around him. The Train Museum in Boone, Iowa, held a special place in his heart, symbolizing one of his favorite excursions.

Donald is survived by one son, Travis (Daisy Heins) Pankow of Elma; two daughters, Michele (Ron) Farley of Aplington, Darlene (Riley) McAlpin of Waterloo; four grandchildren, Jessie (Rachel) Farley of Indianola, Ashley (Andy) Peters of Wellsburg, Ashton Pankow of Elma, Alexis Pankow of Elma; seven great-grandchildren, Lyle, Letty, Alice and Maeva Farley, Edwin, Abigail and Luther Peters; one brother, Robert Pankow of Dubuque; one sister-in-law, Nancy Pankow of Decorah; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mabel on Oct. 13, 2000; one daughter Dawn Marie Pankow in infancy; two brothers, Marvin and Wayne Pankow.

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