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Rhys Panero
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Rhys Kern Panero, 68, ended his battle with cancer on Saturday, April 30, surrounded by his loving family in Modesto.

He was born May 8, 1942 in Escalon, to Beryl June and John Louis Panero.

He 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 lived in Modesto his entire adult life until his passing.

Mr. Panero 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. Mr. Panero 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.

Survivors include his loving family, daughter Kimberly Panero-Eley and husband Kevin of El Dorado Hills, CA and son Rhys Marc Panero and wife Jeanine 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.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Mr. Panero lived admirably and was a strong example to others, a man devoted to his family, he will be remembered as someone who you could eternally count on.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Monday, May 16 at 11 a.m. with a celebration of life following the mass.

Memorial donations may be made to Shriner's Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, Florida 33607.

Arrangements by Deegan Funeral Chapel in Escalon; visit

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

May 11, 2011