Dr. Daniel Pfannstiel

Dr. Daniel Charles Pfannstiel, 88, of College Station, passed away Sunday, March 5, 2017.  His family will receive guests during a visitation from 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center in Bryan.  A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, March 10, also at Callaway-Jones with interment to follow at the College Station City Cemetery.

Dan was born in Marion, TX on May 25, 1928 to parents Edwin Louis and Johanna (nee Schaefer) Pfannstiel.  He grew up on the family farm near Converse, TX in Bexar County, and graduated from Brackenridge High School in San Antonio.  He attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corp of Cadets and the Ross Volunteers.  He began his career as an assistant county agricultural agent in Wharton, TX where he met his future wife Shirley Barron.   They married on November 23, 1950, in the brand new Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M in College Station.

He obtained a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a Ph.D from The University of Wisconsin where he later was a visiting professor.  Dan served most of his career in the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, eventually becoming Director.  He was an active proponent of 4-H programs and international outreach, including women’s empowerment through education, nutrition, and economics.  Subsequently he was a professor in agricultural education at Texas A&M University.  Dan also served in the Army Reserve for 30 years, retiring as a colonel.

In over 63 years together, Dan and Shirley raised 4 children while living mostly in College Station.  They travelled extensively, especially later in life (eventually to over 140 countries and all 7 continents) and he was fluent in Spanish and German.  He was a lifelong learner, auditing classes at Texas A&M, and was an avid tennis player into his eighties.

Dan was preceded in death by his wife Shirley and their son Robin.   Survivors include son, David and wife Jan Pfannstiel of College Station; son, Kerry Pfannstiel of College Station; daughter-in-law, Betsy Pfannstiel of Fredericksburg; daughter, Diana and husband Russell Riepe of San Marcos; sister, Enomie Real of San Antonio; 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations Crestview Retirement Community at 2505 E Villa Maria Rd., Bryan, TX 77802.


  1. David and Kerry,
    I’m so very sorry to hear of your father’s death. May God give you peace and strength through this most difficult time. Thoughts and prayers being sent to you.

  2. David,
    So sorry to hear of Dr. Pfannstiel’s passing. We will keep your family in our prayers.

    Anita Prazak

  3. Alice and I send condolences in the passing of our friend and colleague. We enjoyed his company in the Department of Agricultural Education, but also in our travels to Germany. Dr. Pfannstiel leaves an Aggie legacy of God, Country and Service. We will miss his company on our road trips and his stories with coffee. We regret that both Alice and I are out of State and unable to attend his celebration of life. Peace and best wishes to the family, especially grandchildren.

  4. To the family

    I knew Dr. Pfannstiel when I worked at Crestview. I enjoyed our talks each day that I saw him.
    He was a very kind man and always interesting to talk with.

    My prayers are with you.

    Mary Alcala`

  5. Your family has our deepest sympathy. May happy memories be a comfort to you at this sad time.

    Mack and Glenda Scanlan
    Emerald Forest Neighbors

  6. Kerry and Jan:

    Sending my deepest condolences on the passing of your father (in-law).

  7. I was privileged to work as a County Extension Agent while Dr. Pfannstiel was Extension Director. He was a great leader and a great man. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing.

  8. I am saddened by the news of Dr. Pfannstiel’s death. He was my boss for several years. More than that, a mentor who I admired more than any Extension administrator I ever worked with. My condolences to the family.

  9. Dan was my boss and my career idol. Nobody knew more about his chosen profession than Dan. He was a walking encyclopedia of information with a ton of character and high expectations of himself and others. Though he was intently focused he always had time to tell or listen to a good story, and his keen sense of humor was contagious. He set a great example. I send to his family my heartfelt thanks for sharing him with us and I join you in grieving his loss.

  10. Dr. Pfannstiel was an unbelievable supporter of our department and did so much to positively impact agriculture while here at Texas A&M. We are deeply saddened that he is no longer here with us, but find joy in knowing that his legacy will live on forever. He is a true testament to the Aggie spirit and will be greatly missed.

  11. Extending my deepest condolences to the family. Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow. You can take comfort in the words of Jesus when he compared death to sleep and resurrected his friend Lazarus who had been dead for four days. John 11:11-14 thus showing what he can do on a grand scale in the near future for all of those resting in the memorial tombs (God’s Psalms 83:18 memory ). Jonn 5:28, 29. We can also look forward to the time when “no resident will say I am sick”. Isa. 33:24.

  12. Dr. Dan Pfannstiel is the reason the Texas 4-H Association exists today! In earlier years the administration was not much in favor of a 4-H Association. “Two Associations were enough!” In about 1974 I met with Director John Hutchison and tried to get him to commit and support a Texas 4H Association. He was cordial enough and told me to work with Dr. Pfannstiel in the development stages. Approximately 2 months later Dr. Hutchison had retired and Dr. Pfannstiel was the new Director. Dan’s support and help made the development and organization of the TEXAS 4-H AGENTS ASSOCIATION possible. It was my pleasure to serve the association as it’s first president, a task made much easier by the friendship of Dan Pfannstiel.