Tough Week for “Big Charlie” Pannell:Long-time Southeast Guilford baseball stalwart loses his wife and Pannell Family needs your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief

Posted by Andy Durham on January 18, 2019 at 12:57 pm under Amateur, College, High School, Professional | Read the First Comment

Gone at just the age of 64….They closed the book this week on the life of Sarah Pannell, the wife of long-time Southeast Guilford community baseball stalwart, “Big Charlie” Pannell….Mrs. Pannell died after prolonged failing health, and she passed away in a nursing center, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina…

Southeast Guilford Middle School baseball, Southeast Guilford Junior Legion Baseball, Southeast Guilford Community youth baseball, American Legion Senior Baseball, Charlie Pannell helped out with all of these programs, and now he and his immediate family could really use your help as they go through a time of grief, suffered from the loss of “Big Charlie’s” wife, Sarah Pannell..

Sarah Pannell was loved by all that met her and many feel she was the true backbone that allowed “Big Charlie” Pannell to make his rounds, all around the baseball fields/diamonds in central North Carolina over the years…Without Sarah M. Pannell, “Big Charlie” would not have been able to make all of the rounds, help all the kids and be able to become, “Big Charlie” Pannell….We hear his wife was a pretty good cook too, and she also knew of the best restaurant spots/stops, that always allowed “Big Charlie” Pannell to maintain the big smile you would see on his face, just after mealtime each and every day…

To really put it out there, without Sarah Pannell, there would have been no, “Charlie Pannell Plan”….And with the “Charlie Pannell Plan” came many opportunities for young Southeast Guilford Falcons, to be able to play baseball in the Summer and to be able to get the recognition they needed to get college scholarship opportunities, and also get chances to play professional baseball…

With every good pitcher, and “Big Charlie” Pannell has been a very good sales pitcher over the years, there comes a good catcher, and if anybody could catch what “Big Charlie” was slinging/pitching, Sarah M. Pannell was the one that could do it….

Sarah Pannell caught it for many years and she knew how to handle it…If you called “Big Charlie” on his cell phone at (336) 908-3935, you would hear the recorded voice of Sarah M. Pannell, she even took and knew how to handle “Big Charlie’s” phone calls…She nearly did it all when she was healthy, but now Sarah M. Pannell is gone….

“Big Charlie” was the pitcher and Sarah Pannell was the catcher and age 64 she has left this ballyard and she is now preparing a “Field of Dreams” for Charlie and his daughter Sarah Beth Pannell, and that new baseball field/diamond is getting the best treatment in the world, from a ‘Diamond in the Rough”, who is now in charge of making out the future baseball lineups, up there in the sky/heaven…

She gave her best, she gave her all and now it is time for others to give back to the Pannell Family, as they remember Sarah M. Pannell and lay her to rest on Saturday…She was no Johnny Bench, but she never found time to sit on the bench, she was always taking care of “Big Charlie” and Sarah Beth Pannell…Keep them in your thoughts and prayers and let’s make sure we remember the life of one great “catcher”, Sarah M. Pannell over the next several days….She caught and she got the Pannells on the ball, and made sure that ball got back to mound after every “Pannell Pitch”…

RIP:Sarah Pannell, one of the top catchers to ever come out of Guilford County…..

Here is the Sarah M. Pannell obituary from today’s/Friday’s News and Record…..

Pannell, Sara Mims

PLEASANT GARDEN Sara Mims Pannell, 64, of Pleasant Garden, NC passed away on January 15, 2019 surrounded by her family. A lifelong native of Guilford County, she worked 38 years as a dental assistant in Greensboro, serving alongside Dr. William Sessoms, Dr. Gladstone Harrell Jr., and later in the dental clinics of the Guilford County Detention Centers. She attended Grimsley High School, graduated from Southeast Guilford High School, and later studied at Elon University and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. A woman of deep faith, she was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Greensboro, where she met and married her husband, baptized and raised their daughter, served as a pre-school Sunday School teacher, and grew in grace alongside her friends in Christ. She belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star, loved to watch baseball with her husband, and cherished every chance to hear her daughter preach. She will be forever remembered as a devoted wife, a loving mother, a faithful daughter, and a caring friend. She is survived by her husband, Charles, and their daughter, Sara Beth; her mother, Anne Mims Morrison; two brothers, Robert Mims and wife Mona, and Charles Mims and wife Elaine; and her dearly loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Mims, Sr. and her stepfather, Harry Morrison. Memorial service will be held Saturday, January 19, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Pittsboro United Methodist Church, with visitation to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to: Pittsboro United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 716, Pittsboro, NC 27312; or First Baptist Church of Greensboro, 1000 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401. Condolences may be made at www.donaldsonfunerals.com. Arrangements by Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation in Pittsboro, NC.


  • Gfan said,

    I am very sorry to hear this. Thoughts and prayers to Charlie and the family.