Cover photo for Forrest  Dean Panther's Obituary
Forrest  Dean Panther Profile Photo
1955 Forrest 2016

Forrest Dean Panther

October 17, 1955 — August 12, 2016

Forrest Dean Panther of Russellville, Arkansas was called up to the Lord’s special service on Friday, August 12, 2016. He was born October 17, 1955 to Kenneth Dean and Dora Belle Panther in Hereford, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Daryl Ivan Panther. He left this world peacefully with family. The pain of cancer and illness no longer bound him. He is survived by his son Travis Panther and fiancée, Nikki Dawes of Sherwood, Arkansas; sister Linda Riley of Hereford, Texas; sister and brother-in-law Cathy and Wesley Layman of Sante Fe, New Mexico; brother Billy Panther of Russellville, Arkansas; brother and sister-in-law Kenny and Wendy Panther of Russellville, Arkansas; brother and sister-in-law Mike and Vickie Panther of Italy, Texas; sister and brother-in-law Robbi and Scott Kavalek of Mount Holly, New Jersey; Grandma Gwen Payne of Russellville, Arkansas and very special cousins Johnny and Jean Stoker of Woodson, Texas, along with dozens of nieces and nephews, his church family at Fair Park Baptist Church and countless friends. A former Air Force Master Sergeant in the 314th AMS, he was proud of his service in the United States military for almost 17 years stationed at Little Rock Air Force base. He loved his big bird C-130 aircraft and would tell stories about his Air Force buddies and the many trips they shared in the aircraft. His most recent work on aircraft with ARINC had him using his military experience working on sophisticated aircraft electronics. He was a model soldier and a model employee that was insistent on doing things by the book. After taking medical retirement from ARINC, he never gave up his interest in working on aircraft and his love for flying. Forrest was a patriot and a proud United States veteran. He would vigorously defend our flag and would tell you or anyone straight out the proper way to display it and scold anyone for doing otherwise, and could give you the regulation if you were interested. It was offensive to him to see a flag left out in the dark, it was against protocol. He was fearless and even when weak from fighting cancer would put all 118 pounds of himself in front of anything to defend his country. He was a hard worker and even in his later years of illness could still outwork many people. He took pride in things he did and it could be seen in the detail. If he was given a job or task it would be done, done right, and with meticulous detail. As fond as he was of his time in the Air Force and the 314th AMS, the things he was most proud of were his only son Travis and his future daughter-in-law Nikki and his family. He was a doting father, a loyal brother and a faithful friend. Forrest was a talented artist, writer and musician. He used his creative passion to landscape, create crafts and one of a kind art work or write songs. He loved to play the guitar and over the last few years would jam with his buddy Joe Hawkins and some other local musicians. He liked to collect just about everything and could see value in something broken that could be turned into art. He was affectionately known by his military buddies as Pink, by his nieces and nephews as Uncle P and by his family as just Forrest; tall, slender, tough and protective. He is now resting high on that mountain in the presence of our Lord; his work here being done, his legacy and memories enduring. There will be a memorial service at Fair Park Baptist Church in Russellville, Arkansas on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. under the direction of Russellville Family Funeral. An open visitation time will be held at 4:00 P.M. and visitation and a fellowship meal after the service. As Forrest fought his battle with cancer, his heart would break for the children battling the disease. He would be honored by any memorials going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Online obituary and guestbook are available at www.russellvillefamilyfuneral.com.

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