|Donavan James Pantke|
|Region 7 Representative|
Libertarian National Committee Representative
|2022 (as Alternate)—2023 (until his passing)|
Tarrant County Libertarian Party
|September 26, 2020—September 29, 2023|
|Predecessor:||Otilio R Perez Jr.|
|Birth:||December 16, 1979 |
|Death:||September 29, 2023 (aged 43) |
Fayette County, Ohio
|Education:||Pleasure Ridge Park High School|
|Occupation:||Director, Cloud Tools, Services, and Architecture|
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Donavan James Pantke (December 16, 1979 – September 29, 2023) was a dedicated Libertarian activist renowned for his contributions to the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and the Libertarian Party as a whole.
Early Life and Background
Born in Columbus, Georgia, to Barbra and Alvin Pantke, Pantke later moved to Utah before settling in Louisville, Kentucky, where he spent the majority of his life. In 2019, he relocated to Arlington, Texas with his family. After completing high school, he initially worked for HSA before transitioning to Appriss in October 2000, where he remained until October 2014. He subsequently joined Infor in November 2014 and ascended to the position of Director of Cloud Tools, Services, and Architecture, serving in this capacity until his untimely death.
Pantke met his wife, Jocelyn, in 2002, and the two were wed on May 13, 2005. They were blessed with three children: Alex in 2007, Cameron in 2009, and Alandra in 2013.
Pantke's personal pursuits were vast. He relished in automotive repair and was in the process of refurbishing a 1991 Pontiac Trans Am. His love for automobiles was shared with his son, Alex. Pantke was also a passionate model train enthusiast and was an active member of the Texas Western Model Railroad Club—a hobby he enjoyed with his son Cameron. Additionally, Pantke was an ardent music aficionado, having taught himself to play several instruments and passed on this passion to his children. His intelligence and quest for knowledge were evident to all who knew him, and he had an innate ability to comprehend and apply self-taught knowledge in practical scenarios. Above all, Pantke was known for his genuine connections with others, making everyone feel understood and valued.
Pantke's activism within the Libertarian movement was notable. He served as Chair of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party in Texas, championing libertarian principles at a grassroots level. He also served on the Bylaws Committee for the Libertarian Party of Texas from 2021-2022 and was elected to the committee as it's chair in 2023. Pantke was greatly valued on the committee for his ability to polish the language used so that it was both elegant and concise. In May 2022, Pantke was elected as the Region 7 Alternate Representative to the Libertarian National Committee. Following Linnea Gabbard's resignation in August 2023, Pantke stepped in as the Region 7 Representative, swiftly becoming a pivotal leader within the national libertarian organization. His dedication, intelligence, and unique perspective were highly valued by his peers.
The news of Pantke's passing on September 29, 2023, deeply affected the libertarian community. His unexpected death was announced by former LNC Chair Whitney Bilyeu, who commemorated him as a cherished friend and esteemed colleague. Bilyeu highlighted Pantke's profound wisdom, unwavering dedication to libertarian principles, and the immense sorrow felt by his family and community. LNC members, such as Steven Nekhaila and Dave Benner, conveyed their heartbreak, praising Pantke for his unmatched intellect, integrity, and kindness. His significant contributions to the Libertarian Party were irreplaceable.
Pantke's legacy as a staunch advocate for personal freedom and his inherent kindness leaves a lasting imprint on the libertarian movement, inspiring many to pursue the values he held dear.
Pantke is survived by his devoted wife, Jocelyn; their three children, Alex, Cameron, and Alandra; and his brother, Cale, alongside his wife, Kristine, and their daughter, Evelyn. Pantke was predeceased by his beloved parents, Barbra and Alvin. Known for his deep connections with people and genuine relationships, the tremendous outpouring of love and support for his family posthumously underscores the significant impact Pantke had during his life.