Hymmen’s Dr. Werner Pankoke Dies

Werner Pankoke, died at the age of 85 following a stroke. Born March 29, 1938 as the third child of Bielefeld, Germany dentist Dr. Wilhelm Pankoke, Werner decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps when he began his studies. Instead, he was drawn to Munich Technical University, where he pursued his grandfather Theodor Hymmen’s engineering interests—studying mechanical engineering.

After graduating with a degree in engineering and a doctorate in business administration, Dr. Werner Pankoke took over the management of the Hymmen family business in 1967. The mechanical and plant engineering company had been founded by his grandfather in Bielefeld in 1892. Pankoke succeeded in establishing the company worldwide as an indispensable technology partner in the wood-based materials industry with the development of the continuous double belt press.

The entrepreneur generally worked in a secluded manner. Irrespective of this, he was recognized for his entrepreneurial activities by Prof. Hermann Simon’s “Hidden Champion” award and by winning the “Challengers Award” at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) in Atlanta, Ga.

Pankoke, father of two and grandfather of six, retired from the family business in 2002 when he handed over the management of the company to his son Dr. René Pankoke, now the fourth generation to successfully run the Hymmen company. Since then, Pankoke has devoted himself to his private interests together with his wife and constant companion Dr. Christa Pankoke.

Former and current employees of Hymmen hold Pankoke in high esteem, and with great gratitude for a fulfilled life together, the family will say goodbye in a small circle.

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