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James E. Pantle

-JAN. 4, 2012

January 05, 2012
  • James E. Pantle
Submitted photo

James Ernest Pantle, formerly of Shepherdstown, W.Va., died Wednesday, Jan, 4, 2012, at his home south of Martinsburg. W.Va.

Born in Burlington, Kan., he was the son of the late Earl D. Pantle and Helen K. Pantle Clark.

Jim graduated from Topeka High School and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baker University in Baldwin, Kan. He taught both instrumental and choral music for three years in Harveyville, Kan. He then earned a master’s degree in music from the University of Oregon, and continued graduate studies for one year in Oldenburg, Germany, at the University of Oregon center for music education.

He taught music in Topeka for two years, then began a 36-year career at Shepherd University as a professor of music and coordinator of music education (1969 to 2005). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in secondary education: music in 1977.

Dr. Pantle served as president-elect, president, vice president, research chair and state adviser for collegiate chapters of the West Virginia Music Educators’ Association in the 1980s and the ’90s, and was adviser of the MENC student chapter at Shepherd throughout his tenure.

Dr. Pantle was one of five founders of the Millbrook Orchestra (Shepherdstown) and was on the board throughout the orchestra’s 22-year existence. He served several terms as an officer, including executive director, president and vice president. He considered the orchestra project as a crowning achievement.

As an educator, Dr. Pantle believed in the best in people, mentoring many, helping them find their strengths, grow in skill and blossom.

In his last five years, Jim returned to the early love of his life in Kansas — farming. He gave his days lovingly to his home, 20 acres along Opequon Creek, bush-hogging meadows, moving 1,000-pound bales with his John Deere tractor, planting strawberries/raspberries, beginning a lush asparagus patch and tending vegetables. The first days would find him sinking 220 fence posts for pastures and building a run-in shed for the four horses that became family, then a workshop and tack room, a cold frame. He crafted homes for bluebirds, wrens, the barred owl and wood ducks. He would finish summer days sitting on the back deck overlooking field and wood, listening for the owls or waiting for a glimpse of the heron that flew over nightly. He had great faith in and love for things that grow.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy M. Pantle; one sister, Jean L. Litchfield of San Diego, Calif.; one brother and sister-in-law, W. David and Sherrill Pantle of Baltimore, Md.; and former wife, Wanda T. Pantle of Sun City, Ariz.

A memorial service will be Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Interment will be private.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Panhandle.

Arrangements are by Brown Funeral Home, Martinsburg.

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