Reserve Deputy Sheriff John J. Paneno

Date of Death

John J. Paneno, 72, was raised in La Cañada and passed away on April 15, 2023, after a valiant battle with cancer. Jay, as he was often called, was the youngest son of John and Rose Paneno of La Cañada. He spent most of his adult life in the foothill community. After graduating from La Cañada High School, he attended Menlo College and obtained a degree in business. He was a successful residential builder and property manager, skills he honed while working with his father, in the late 1990s, John Paneno.
Jay wanted more out of life than just being successful in ventures of business and finance. He wanted to help others. This burning desire for service led him, while in his thirties, to join the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a reserve deputy. He served on the Montrose Search and Rescue team for thirty-six years. He was an EMT and Special Response Team member, participating in more than 860 rescue operations. He successfully rose through the ranks of the Montrose Search and Rescue team serving as a training officer, operations leader, and unit captain. During his service, he received numerous awards and commendations for his work. His life was the epitome of service to others and service above self.
Jay acquired a love for horses while undergoing grueling physical training sessions at the sheriff’s academy. He worked hard to develop his riding skills and soon found a passion for the sport of polo and the farm lifestyle.
Jay and his wife, Tania, rescued and re-homed many stray dogs that would wander onto their farm property. It was a common sight in the Montrose community and throughout the foothills to see Jay in his truck with his K9 “Elway” riding shotgun.
Jay welcomed everyone with his smile, cheerful manner, and positive attitude. He was always eager to help someone in need and always extended a welcome hand to others. No matter the circumstances of a meeting, whether a rescue, arrest, or polo match, he always carried a cheerful and positive manner and displayed helpfulness and courtesy to everyone he met. Jay was also very focused on family, and he celebrated every moment with his immediate and extended family.
Jay is survived by his wife, Tania, his sister Margret Ann (Maloof) and husband Richard, nephew Dr. Joe Maloof and family of La Cañada, niece Sheri (Maloof) and Tod Thompson family of Henderson, Nevada, sister-in-law, Kathy Paneno, nephew John Paneno and family, niece Mary Rose (Paneno) and Carl Euphrat of Sonoma County, niece Tina(Paneno) and Pat Benton family of Thousand Oaks, Godchildren: Joey Pennino, Jenny Horwath Meli, Richie Maloof, Lexi Thompson, Russell, William and Tate Nighswonger, the Richard Nighwonger family, (Tish Horton) of Seal Beach (sister-in-law) as well as many loved and enjoyed grand-nieces and nephews, and cousins.
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