Paul Martin Pankratz, 88, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend went home to be with the Lord on November 11, 2020.
The son of the late Cecil and Alice (Schneider) Pankratz was born March 30, 1932 in Wichita, Kansas. He was raised in Chanute, Kansas. where he graduated from Chanute High School in 1951. Despite battling polio at the age of six, he was active in scouting (achieving the rank of Eagle Scout), band, and other activities. Paul graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1955. Following graduation, he served for two years as an officer in the US Army, using his engineering skills to train artillery troops. On January 29, 1956, he married Phyllis N. Pankratz in Lawrence, Kansas. Paul and Phyllis enjoyed 45 years of joyful marriage raising their three sons and enjoying the many blessings of family before she went home to be with the Lord in 2001.
Professionally, Paul joined Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan in 1957 as a process engineer. During his career at Dow he served in many different managerial and leadership roles, rising to the position of Vice President and Director of Operations for Dow Chemical USA in 1982. Following his retirement from Dow in 1992, he joined San Diego-based Magma Power as CEO and Chairman. He retired from Magma in 1994. Paul received a Distinguished Engineering Service Award from the University of Kansas School of Engineering in 1987 and was inducted into the Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity Alumni Hall of Fame in 2008.
Paul touched and influenced many lives for the better through his warm, energetic, encouraging and practical approach to life. He had a strong faith in God and a real appreciation for the value each person contributes to society. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Midland and San Diego and was involved in a variety of other ministries. He loved spending time with his family and friends, taking on new projects, and solving problems. Paul was an artistic wood worker and used his creative talents to produce beautiful bowls and wood sculptures. Some of his greatest enjoyment came from family vacations at Lake Louise in northern Michigan, celebrating holidays at his home in Midland, traveling throughout the USA and Europe, and mentoring his grandchildren.
He is survived by his sons, David (Anne) Pankratz of Gulfport, Florida and their children, Steven (Rachel), Michael and Kristen; Jeffrey (Susan) Pankratz of Burtonsville, Maryland, and their children, Sarah, Jessica (Parker), and Rebecca; Thomas (Kristine) Pankratz of Palatine, Illinois, and their children, Joshua, William, and Megan. Paul is also survived by his sister, Jane Stockebrand of Boulder, Colorado and four great grandchildren, Christopher, Juliana, Nicholas, and Matthias.
Funeral services for Paul will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 20, 2020 at the First United Methodist Church in Midland. Friends may call at the Wilson MILLER Funeral Home on Thursday, November 19, 2020 from 4-6 p.m. For those unable to attend in person, a video of the funeral service will also be available online at www.wilson-miller.com. For a more lasting tribute, memorials may be offered to the First United Methodist Church or Justice Ventures International. Please share a memory of Paul at the funeral home with the family or through our condolence page at www.wilson-miller.com.
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