Bernard J. Panella
Bernard “Sonny” Joseph Panella passed after a short illness on December 11,
2015. He was born on February 14, 1932 to Nicholas and Mary Panella in
Bernie was one of 4 children. Bernie was a successful student, an over achiever
who graduated college in 1953. Bernie was a skilled athlete excelling in Baseball,
Basketball and Football.
He married Ray Elizabeth Todd in July of 1953 and had 2 beautiful daughters with
her, Barbara (Brad) Kelly and Carol Del Vitto.
Bernie was a military man (Army) who was proud to serve and deeply loved his
country. He was honorably discharged in 1955 and received the National Defense
Bernie was a Physicist and in 1964 entered the Federal Government and began a
career in Electronics with a specific focus on Radar, Air Traffic Control and Landing
In 1970 he married Nancy Bealle Ritter and gained 3 stepchildren, Jeannie (Tim)
Scott, Charsy (J.D.) Hunt and Chuck Ritter, who loved him dearly.
He left the Federal Government in 1979 and formed Panella Consultant
Corporation, providing consulting services around the D.C. Beltway. Because of the
success he enjoyed at his consulting company, Bernie started Raven Inc. in 1986.
His company provided technical and program management support to the
Government and private industry in the field of electronic warfare and other avionics
In 1989 he sold his company and retired to Naples, Florida and has resided there
ever since with his wife Nancy. Nothing made Bernie happier than his
grandchildren. He so loved Rett, Heather, Todd, Austin, Ali, Jonathan, and Tessa. In
addition to his beloved children and grandchildren, he is also survived by a sister,
Patricia Buckler, and brother, Thomas (Renee) Panella, as well as numerous
nieces and nephews.
He was pre-deceased by brother, Nicholas Panella. He lived an extraordinary life.
Bigger than life, Bernie loved and was so loved by all who knew him. He will be
Donations in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O.Box
22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or online at www.cancer.org/donate.
A private family memorial is planned for a later date.