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Rhys Kern Panero
Escalon native
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Rhys Kern Panero, a great man, devoted to his family, ended his battle with cancer with incredible courage and dignity on April 30, 2011 surrounded by his loving family in Modesto, CA. 

Rhys was born May 8, 1942 in Escalon, CA to Beryl June and John Louis Panero and is preceded in death by his beloved parents.  Rhys is survived by his loving family, daughter-Kimberly Panero-Eley and son in law, Kevin Eley of El Dorado Hills, CA, son-Rhys Marc Panero and daughter in law, Jeanine Panero of Escalon, six grandchildren, Morgan Panero-Eley, Megan Panero-Eley, Logan Panero-Eley, Allie Panero, Rhys John Panero, Colton Panero, sister Gaynl Allec of Escalon, brother and sister in law Marc and Mary Panero of Escalon, Uncle and Aunt, David and Erlene Price of Escalon, Aunt Mary Carrington of Sonora, and many nieces, cousins, and extended family and friends.

 Rhys grew up in Escalon and was student body president at Escalon High School.  He was very active in 4H and FFA.  He graduated from Escalon High School in 1960 and earned a B.S. Degree in Aeronautical Operations with a minor in Business Administration from San Jose State University in 1965.  After college he went to work for his father’s well drilling business, Panero Well Drilling, until obtaining a position with the State of California Department of Water Resources.  He worked for the state until his retirement as Chief Regional Administrative Officer.  He resided in Modesto, CA his entire adult life until his passing. 

 Rhys enjoyed flying small passenger planes and was a licensed pilot.  He loved to fly and took many trips with his children around California.  He also loved to refurbish farm equipment.  He was a true engineer and shared his great knowledge with his family.  Rhys was devoted to his childhood home, the family ranch in Escalon throughout his entire life.  It was his passion and greatest joy to care for this property, working in the shop, garden and raising animals. 

After his retirement he became an integral part in the development of his son’s business in 2004, Panero Farms Shredding Service.  He was in charge of maintenance of equipment and an equipment operator there until becoming ill in 2010.

 Rhys lived admirably and was a strong example to others.  He will be remembered by his friends and family as someone who you could eternally count on.  Rhys was a great man who leaves a legacy of strong family tradition.  We are forever grateful for all he provided to us throughout his life.  He will be missed so very much.  We love you Dad and we will cherish your memory always.  You are forever in our hearts.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial mass celebrated at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church located at 19399 E. Highway 120, Ripon, CA on Monday, May 16, at 11 a.m. with a celebration of life following the mass.   Remembrances in Rhys’ name may be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, Florida 33607.  Arrangements by Deegan Funeral Chapel in Escalon; please visit

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, May 7, 2011