Lifelong Wood Flooring Pro John Pankratz Jr. of Kelly-Goodwin Dies at 63

John Pankratz Jr

Industry veteran John Pankratz Jr. Pankratz passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on March 14 at the age of 63.

In 1974, when he was 14, Pankratz began working weekends and summers in the family’s business, Kelly Goodwin Company of Seattle. One of his first jobs was to lay out, stain and wax thousands of square feet of antique textured parquet for a shopping mall project. During that same summer, Pankratz worked with his brother and stepbrother in the manufacturing of thousands of lineal feet of treated sleepers for the many gymnasium projects that were under way in Alaska as part of the pipeline agreements. Working almost all positions in the company, he steadily moved up to eventually head the purchasing department and manage inventory control. He became part of the senior management team, where he helped grow the company from one to eventually seven distribution warehouses throughout Washington State, Oregon and Montana. Kelly-Goodwin’s distribution map also included Alaska, Idaho, and Hawaii. The company eventually closed on Dec. 20, 2012, in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Pankratz was a fixture at NWFA conventions and attended 26 consecutive conventions until Kelly-Goodwin closed. He was known throughout the industry for his good nature and friendly demeanor. “John was the guy that always had a smile on his face and made you feel like a trusted friend,” says Todd McDonald of Maple Ridge Handscraped in Livonia, Mich. “He always asked about the family and how you were doing. He was a big man with a big heart and a big smile!”

Pankratz is survived by his father, John R. Pankratz Sr., daughters Hannah and Heather Pankratz, ex-wife Heidi Pankratz, brother Jay Pankratz, sister Joni Hill, and stepbrother Jeff Donnell.

A celebration of life will be held from 1–3 p.m. on June 2 at Advent Lutheran Church (4306 132nd St. SE, Mill Creek, Wash.). 

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