Lt. Colonel Christopher James Dantoin
Chris passed peacefully on September 2, 2013 at Unity Hospice after a year-long battle with cancer. He was born on February 16, 1963 to Elaine (Campbell) and the late Kenneth R. Dantoin, Sr. He enjoyed weekly breakfasts and conversation with his Mom and close friends. He was the sixth of eight kids and a graduate of UW-Green Bay.
Chris served with honor and distinction in the U.S. Army Reserves 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion. He and his colleagues brought order to chaos during six battlefield deployments in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kosvo by restoring government functions, rebuilding vital infrastructure and providing humanitarian relief. Chris taught at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and developed the U.S. Navy's Maritime Civil Affairs Group Course curriculum. His participation and leadership during multiple training exercises in Germany, Eastern Europe and Africa demonstrated the highest Army standards and personal dedication to the mission and success of the Civil Affairs community.
Chris loved what he did and thrived as a leader, strategist, mentor and innovator. He cherished the experiences and friendships forged during his 30 year career.
Chris was equally active and passionate in his civilian life as an entrepreneur with many varied interests and business undertakings. In addition to working since 2007 as the civilian administrative supervisor for the 432nd, he had recently become a licensed massage therapist with the intent of helping veterans address the physical and emotional trauma stemming from their military service.
Chris' natural curiosity, intelligence and determination made him a life-long learner and teacher on vast and varied subjects. He was a seeker and wanderer at heart, but found respite and solace in the Book of Job and the knowledge he would soon be reunited with our father Ken. His favorite two places in the world were the peaceful headwaters of the Nile River and at home watching sunsets over the Bay of Green Bay with his rescue cats Gitmo, Milo and Casper.
Chris loved a good joke and kept his sense of humor to the end entertaining and comforting family, friends and caregivers alike. His parting advice was to "find happiness by enjoying the moment you're in." Chris is survived by his sisters Laurie (Greg) Retzlaff, Valerie (Rick) Dantoin-Adamski, and April (Chris) Kuss as well as brothers Bruce (Pam), Steve (Cheryl), Ken (Debra) and Tim. He is also survived by many nephews and nieces including Jessica his god-daughter and Stephanie to whom he is most grateful for adopting his beloved kitty katters.
Our family would like to thank and recognize the members of the 432nd and their families for dedication to the civilian affairs mission Chris so fervently embraced. We also thank those who loved and supported Chris in his life and during his illness including Carolyn, Jason, Jody, Lance, Dan, Sandy, Vijay, Billie Jo and the many others too numerous to name. Your dedication to Chris is testimony to the person he was and the lives he influenced. A special thanks to Nicole at Green Bay Oncology and Jennifer at Unity's Meng Residence for appreciating Chris' unique character and providing him with outstanding professional care.
In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established to support no-kill animal rescue shelters in Northeastern Wisconsin.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 am until the memorial service at 11:00 am on Friday, September 6, 2013 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1301 S. Ridge Road with the Rev. Earl Vorpagel III officiating.
Online condolences may be shared at www.lyndahl.com.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Sept. 4, 2013