John was born on February 21, 1941 in Ituna, Saskatchewan, the son of John and Jean (Bulych) Panio. John attended St. Vlad's College (Minor Seminary) and received his grade 12 from Ituna High School. He graduated from Teacher's College in 1963 and taught school until his retirement in 1995. John convocated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Education Degree with a major in Music Education.
In 1964 John and his brother Dave and Vlad started the “Panio Brothers Band” which was dedicated to Ukrainian Music. They began with compositions in Ukrainian and music that was dedicated to the people who made a heritage of Ukrainian people in Saskatchewan. John started with songs called “Angeline” and the “Priest and The Cantor”. The Panio Brothers Band travelled across western Canada bringing life to the meaning of Ukrainian music.
They were the only group in Saskatchewan to record and promote Ukrainian music. For 50 years the Panio Brothers have given Ukrainian music an international floor. They recorded four LP records and a few 45s. They were proud that they could play a major role in the Ukrainian music world.
John volunteered in a broad range of activities, and was committed to promoting and enhancing Ukrainian culture and language for most of his life. He taught Ukrainian for over thirty years.
John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on January 18, 2015 at age 73.