"Lou did solid work for a long time keeping Evening Sun and other readers in touch with Maryland's caravan of witty and dull politicians and citizenry through his wire service brevity, knack for getting to the point, knowing whom to quote and his reporter's quiet common sense," said Ernie Imhoff, a longtime reporter and editor at The Evening Sun and The Sun.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Panos amassed awards from every regional journalism association. Last year, the Maryland/Delaware/DC Press Association admitted him to that organization's Hall of Fame. In a letter of support for nomination, former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, a longtime family friend, said Panos had established an impressive legacy.
"Those of us in public life have always regarded Lou as a wise and fair commentator on the issues," Sen. Sarbanes said. "A firm, tough questioner, you always knew that Lou would adhere to the highest ethical standards."
Len Lazarick, a former managing editor at Patuxent and now editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com, said in an email that, "There is hardly a better compliment for a reporter than to be remembered for 'fair reporting of the truth.' And that's how we shall remember Lou, a gracious gentleman of high standards and elegant style."
As she was growing up, Mrs. Panos-Ortel said, two things always struck her: everyone seemed to know her father, and he never failed to make time for anyone who approached him. The family never knew who would stop by the home and end up staying for dinner — colleagues, politicos, just about anyone in the public eye in Maryland.
"It was an incredible window on the world," she said.
Panos had a stable of dedicated pals. For more than 40 years, he took part in a semi-weekly Wednesday night poker game, and he and several friends at The Sun created a club called "the Un-Stable" that purchased and trained racehorses.
Longtime friend and fellow journalist William Miller knew Panos for 75 years, ever since they worked together on their high school paper.
Mr. Miller, who went on to work at the New York Herald Tribune and serve as founding managing editor for the Chronicle of Higher Education, called Mr. Panos "the consummate professional, news reporter and columnist and an excellent writer."
"He got along with Democrats and Republicans, with right wingers and left wingers, by treating everyone as though they were his friend," Mr. Miller said. "Lou had no enemies. In all the years I knew him, I never saw him become angry at anyone. He was a gentle man."
Survivors, in addition to Mrs. Panos-Ortel, include his wife of 63 years, Aphrodite "Dot" Stavropoulos Panos; three sons, George Louis Panos, of Ruxton; Mark Louis Panos, of Baltimore; and Christopher Louis Panos, a Circuit Court judge for Baltimore; four grandchildren, Louis George Panos II and Cate Cashen Panos, both of Baltimore; Kristen Panos, of Towson, and Amanda Ortel-Frank, of New York City, and one great-grandchild, Grady Craven Frank IV, of New York.
He is also survived by two sisters, Helen Laskaris and Tess Malamatis.
Visitation at the Leonard J. Ruck Funeral Home, 1050 York Road in Towson, is between 2 and 4 p.m. and 7 and 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Mr. Panos will lie from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, 24 West Preston St. in Baltimore, with the funeral service following immediately. Interment will be at the Greek Orthodox Cemetery in Woodlawn directly after the service.
Members of the public are welcome to all memorial events.
Reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.