Cover photo for Gretchen Marie Pannell's Obituary
Gretchen Marie Pannell Profile Photo

Gretchen Marie Pannell

April 8, 1960 — May 20, 2023

Gulfport

Gretchen Marie Pannell

Gretchen Marie Presley Pannell, 63, of Long Beach, passed away on May 20th in her home in Gulfport, from complications associated with a metastasized lung cancer tumor in her spine.

Gretchen was born in Long Beach to Donald Howard Presley, Sr., and Dorothy Gifford Presley on April 8th, 1960. She graduated from St. John Catholic High School in Gulfport, MS, and attended college at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Gretchen was a vibrant, hilarious, friendly, open, and accepting woman. She had an unapologetic, take-me-as-I-am approach to life, and a big personality that could fill any space with her conversation. She was known as a wild child in her younger days but mellowed like fine wine with time, finding joy in those who stuck by her through the years. She loved meeting new people, swapping stories, feeding friends, family, and neighbors, and just having a great life. On so many occasions, she would give whatever she had so that others wouldn’t do without, even
at times in her life when she had little for herself.

Gretchen worked a wide variety of jobs, including retail management, photo lab technician, casino security, limousine driver, cabbie, and event staff at the Coast Coliseum. She never settled into a career, but she enjoyed work that let her meet a wide variety of people and would give her interesting stories to share at her cookouts later. Gretchen was a driven paranormal investigator and participated in ghost hunting with several organizations in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. She was one of the co-founders of the Abnormal Paranormal Investigation company.

In recent years, she was a proud full-time homemaker while pursuing her many creative hobbies, including painting, sewing, crochet, and creating decorative dioramas like fairy gardens or haunted houses. She loved putting together costumes and decorations for Halloween. She was an inspired cook, and would put her heart and soul into family dinners for holidays and birthdays.She married several times, and started families with two of her previous husbands.

Gretchen is preceded in death by her father, Donald Presley, Sr., her mother, Dorothy Gifford Presley; her brother Donald Presley, Jr., and her sister, Fritzi Presley.

Gretchen is survived by her children and their families: daughter April Mullins, their partner Bronco Sloan, and his son Jaden Sloan; son, DJ; daughter Dorothy Mitchell, her husband John, and her sons Matrim Pannell and Rian Mitchell; daughter Nina Pannell, her fiancé Dan Vance, and her daughters Auriana Vance and Nora Vance; and son D.A. “Flynch” Pannell, Jr., his girlfriend, Angel Mathews, and his son Spencer Mathews. Gretchen is also survived by her sisters Kathy Bryant and Janine Williams, several cousins, nieces, and a nephew, and by Elvis Presley, her partner til the end.

Public visitation will be 1pm on June 12th, at 19130 Commission Rd, Long Beach, MS 39560. Family visitation will start at noon. Funeral services will be held at 2pm on June 12th, at Riemann’s Commission Road location. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery on the south side of 28th Street in Gulfport. Arrangements are by Riemann Family Funeral Home. The family of Gretchen wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the friends and family members who helped contribute to laying her to rest with grace.
Memorials may be given to the American Lung Association.

 

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