Robert “Bob” Pantoga passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on July 25, 2020, in Evanston, IL. He was born on November 3, 1937, in Chicago, IL, to the late Rebecca Hernandez and Joseph Pantoga and was raised from an early age by the nuns at St. Mary’s Academy in Des Plaines, IL.
Bob served his country in the United States Air Force, earned his GED while on medical leave for tuberculosis, and went on to be the first in his family to graduate from college. While working for Chicago Title & Trust in his initial career, he moonlighted as a law student at DePaul University, receiving his J.D. in 1978. He went on to build his own legal practice, specializing in criminal defense. In law, Bob realized his passion for defending Chicago’s marginalized communities, protecting civil rights, and fighting for justice. He saw the humanity in each of his clients.
Bob was deeply spiritual, known for sprinkling profound thoughts into casual conversations. He was outgoing and sincerely interested in all people who crossed his path. It was this genuine curiosity and empathy that helped him make friends wherever he went. Bob believed in helping others, from involvement in local politics to coaching his children’s sport teams, and, later in life, providing free legal assistance at Evanston’s Levy Senior Center. He will be deeply missed.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Ann, née Addis. He was a loving father to Julia, Candace (Morna Foy), Ken (Mary), Heather (Jose Montoto), Charles, and Joseph (fiancée, Marin Shapiro), and an adoring grandfather to Trevor, Sam, Fiona, Julian, Oliver, Olivia, Zola, Elizabeth, and Margot. Bob will be dearly missed by siblings, Antonia, Barbara, Raul, Patsy, Rosie, Mona, Louis, Daniel, Karen, Mary, and Denise, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his first wife, Elfrieda Abbe. He was predeceased by siblings, Joseph, Richard, Lawrence, Beatrice, Julio, Loretta and Lucy.
A Virtual Prayer / Remembrance Service will be held on Sunday, August 9, 2020, at 2 p.m. To request details, please email [email protected].
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Forest Preserve Foundation, 69 W. Washington St., Suite 2040, Chicago, IL, 60602 (forestpreservefoundation.org); St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 806 Ridge Ave., Evanston, IL, 60202 (nickchurch.org); or Curt’s Café, 2922 Central St., Evanston, IL, 60201 (curtscafe.org).
Funeral info: 847.673.6111.