William Ray Pankonien

William Ray Pankonien, 67, of College Station, passed away on Sunday, June 30 at his ranch in Madison County, Texas following an ATV accident. Visitation will be from 6 to 8pm Sunday July 7, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center in Bryan. His life will be honored with a service at 10am Monday, July 8, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center with Certified Celebrant Dawn Lee Wakefield officiating. A reception will be held after the service at 117 Pershing Avenue, College Station, TX. Interment will follow at 3:30pm Monday afternoon at Taylor City Cemetery in Taylor, Texas. A reception will follow in the Duck Room of the Sirloin Stockade, 3607 N. Main, Taylor, Texas.

William Ray Pankonien was born October 31, 1951 in Taylor Texas. Over the years, he was known to many as “Willie,” to his mom and dad and a few others, he was simply, ”Sugie.”

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Michelle Kerr Pankonien; his brother, Gary Pankonien and his wife Cathy, of Georgetown; and four nephews and their wives, Casey and Laura Pankonien, Blake and Suzie Pankonien, Grant and Anne Pankonien, all of Austin, and Tyler Pankonien, who resides in Dallas. He is also survived by five great-nephews and nieces, Benjamin, Lindy, Max, Amelia, and Greyson Pankonien. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, William F. and Earline Pankonien; his grandparents, William F. and Elsa M. Pankonien and Fritz and Carrie Fuchs, all of Taylor. 

A loyal brother and a lifelong friend to his only sibling, Gary. They shared long hours playing together in their backyard, often stopping for “taste testing” at their dad’s BBQ pit and taking turns on the ice cream maker crank.  They were fortunate enough to work together for a time in Houston and later in life spent time discussing all the fun challenges in owning a ranch, equipment and raising cattle and pecans.

Willie received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M, class of ’74.  He remained close to his Aggie buddies.  Willie and Michelle hosted them before many Aggie football games through the years.

Willie was always there for you.  He could build or repair anything and would spend time educating you how to best do your projects.  He spent time working in Prudhoe Bay on the Alaskan pipeline.  He developed weather dissemination systems for the US Air Force, before turning to land development and home building which is where he met his wife Michelle. He built many quality homes and duplexes in College Station before “retiring” to work on his ranch where he made every animal a pet including raccoons, cats, deer, a goose, and even the horses and cattle.

In lieu of flowers please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject.org

Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers at 3001 S. College Avenue, Bryan, Texas 77801.

Express condolences at CallawayJones.com


  1. Thinking of you. Wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow and comfort in the midst of pain. Praying for God’s comfort and peace during this time. You are loved.

  2. Michelle,
    Sharing in your sadness as you remember William. I hope you feel surrounded by love.
    Hugs to you and your family.
    Tanya & Chuck

  3. Michelle,

    We are sad to hear of your great loss. We will keep you in our prayers.

    Dan & Linda White
    Cat spring

  4. We are sorry for your loss and praying for God’s peace for you and your family. Patrick and Anita Lyons, Brenham bee club

  5. Michelle,

    We are so sorry for your loss. May God wrap you in his loving arms.

    Connie & Norman Duffield

  6. Michelle,
    We just found out about Willie’s passing and are so sorry for your loss. The two of you were strong together, so praying for strength for you now. Know we are with you in grief. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do.
    Stacy & Saundra

  7. Praying for peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead, and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.
    Mike and Nancy Mowry

  8. Willie was a close friend of my family’s, especially my father’s 40-50 years ago. I thought a couple of times about trying to get them together to visit. Dad, Bill Crockett, passed 10 years ago when I thought about trying again to find Willie to let him know. I am sorry I never figured out how to get in touch. I know they had many memories of the good ole days and Aggie football. My condolences to his loved ones. I am Bill’s oldest daughter.

  9. Michelle I’m so very sorry to hear about your unimaginable loss. You have been in my thoughts and prayers since the moment I heard.
    I pray that God gives you the strength to get through this difficult time, heal your pain, so you only remember the happy times that you and William shared. Please know that I’m here for you in any way that you need. Prayers and hugs.

  10. Michelle I’m so very sorry to hear about your unimaginable loss. You have been in my thoughts and prayers since the moment I heard.
    I pray that God gives you the strength to get through this difficult time, heal your pain so that you only remember the happy times you and William shared.
    Please know that I’m here for you in any way that you need. Prayers and hugs.

  11. Gary, please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. I’ve know
    Sugie since we went to West End together even though he was a grade behind me in school. I enjoyed playing football with him when all the kids on Burns Blvd. played football on “the boulevard “ in the late 50s and early 60s. I had not seen him since high school. I’ll remember him fondly because of the good old days and I know he’ll be missed by many

  12. Gary and family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Sugie was one of the nicest guys around as I recall, and one of the few non-aggravating little brothers that we were around whenever I got together with the “Burns Blvd. Bunch”.
    Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
    God Bless.

  13. Gary and Michelle,
    I am so very sorry for your great loss. I fondly remember the many hours scrimmaging against Suggie in football and many more hours throwing the discus and shotput. His unique laugh brings smiles. Sending prayers for peace and comfort.

  14. Gary, I am so sorry about losing your brother. My heart hurts for you and your family. Prayers and love to you.

  15. Michelle and Gary,
    I am saddened to hear of your loss. Willie and I worked together at Bill Crockett’s Phillips 66 station at North Gate from 72 – 74 and he became a dear friend. He used to come have dinner with Gail and I when we lived in the old College View married student housing. We stayed in touch for quite a few years and he came to see us once in Tyler.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

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