• Last modified 430 days ago (May 18, 2023)



Roger Pankratz

A celebration of life for Dr. Roger Sam Pankratz, 87, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, who passed away Thursday, May 4, 2023, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after a short illness, will be 11 a.m. Friday, May 19, 2023, at Broadway United Methodist Church, Maryville, Tennessee.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the service at the church.

He was a lifelong Sunday school teacher and church member who frequently found ways to support individuals in need.

Roger dedicated his career to teacher education and education reform.

Roger was in active recovery with Alcoholics Anonymous for the past 22 years.

Over the past 10 years, Roger’s mobility declined steadily until he required complete assistance.

He was a child of God who consistently practiced gratitude and acceptance. He remained a devoted husband, father, and leader of his family until his final moments with family members at his side.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Helena; his stepmother, Katherine “Katie” Klassen; and his siblings, Harrison, Louella, Elmer, and Allen.

Roger is survived by his wife, Donna; three children, Connie Pankratz Edens (and husband Roger), Wade (and wife Shannon) and Ron (and wife Shelly); and seven grandchildren, Lauren Pankratz Reed (and husband J.J.), Wesley Edens, Megan Edens, Luke Pankratz, Ryan Pankratz, Kennedy Pankratz, and Morgan Pankratz.

Born in Hillsboro, Roger completed his formal education with a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Roger met his wife, Donna, while attending Tabor College, and they were married 63 years.

In 1974, Roger moved his family to Bowling Green, Kentucky to begin his 37-year tenure with Western Kentucky University.

In 2019, Roger and Donna moved to Chattanooga.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to Hearth Hospice, 513 Georgia Av, Chattanooga TN 37403 (

Visit the online obituary at to post tributes and share memories.

Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Chapel.

Last modified May 18, 2023