MISSOULA - Barbara Hoffmann Panian, 81, of Missoula, died Saturday, May 6, 2006, after a long battle with emphysema and complications from breast cancer.
She was born June 13, 1924 ("Friday the 13th"), in Great Falls to Michael H. and Flora Greten Hoffmann. During her high school years she worked at the Paris running the elevator. She graduated from Great Falls High School in 1941.
After graduation she spent time in California experiencing some of the world out there. Coming back to Great Falls, she took a job at the American Optical Co. during World War II. As the men came home from the war, she "returned" Leo Panian his job (so the story goes). This is how they met, later dated and married in October 1946.
In 1955 they moved to Missoula, where she raised their three children. Once her children were older, she began her working career. She started at the 4B's Cafeteria in Holiday Village and then took a position at the Wilma Building as an elevator operator. She later went to work at the Lodge Motel (Creekside Inn) in the laundry service until retiring in 1994. She moved into the Clark Fork Manor in 1997 after having resided in the family home on Rollins Street for 37 years.
She enjoyed visiting with her family in the backyard while barbecuing chicken, sitting around backyard campfires, lighting firecrackers on the Fourth of July, listening to Ed Ames, and taking rides to local areas. She enjoyed trying new recipes, sewing, reading mystery novels, watching "Perry Mason" and baseball (Dodgers).
She enjoyed her grandson's baseball and soccer games and her granddaughter's plays, dances and concerts. Some of her fondest memories were camping trips to Lincoln with her sisters, nieces and nephews. There were Easters on the farm in Fairfield, Wash., and of course, there was always Mother's Day in the gravel pit at the $10,000 Bar.
Survivors include two daughters and their husbands, Renee and Gary Selleck of Missoula and Sheila and Dennis Pottratz of Fairfield, Wash.; a son and his wife, Brian and Leslie Panian; two grandchildren, Dustin (17) and Ali (9) Panian; and a sister, Margo Clasby of Spokane.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Leo, and her sister Ann Jacques of Great Falls.
She will be cremated and her final resting place will be in Missoula at the Missoula Cemetery beside her husband Leo. At her request, no services are planned.
The family suggests memorials to the Montana Food Bank, 5625 Expressway, Missoula, MT 59808; Missoula Food Bank, 219 S. Third St. W., Missoula, MT 59801; Poverello Center, 535 Ryman St., Missoula, MT 59802; or the American Cancer Society, 3550 Mullan Road, Missoula, MT 59808.
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