School Picture
Neil Kirby Lantz
  • 74 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 5, 1939
  • Date of passing: Mar 3, 2014
Let the memory of Neil be with us forever

Neil Kirby Lantz, age 74, passed away unexpectedly on March 3, 2014, while on a Hawaiian cruise with his wife of 49 years, Janet Snader Lantz.  Neil was born in Urbana, Ohio on November 5, 1939. 

He was a member of the first graduating class of Graham Local High School in 1958.  He received a BA in Education from The University of Findlay, and a Masters Degree in Education from Xavier University.  Neil worked 33 years in education: working for Hamilton Township schools, the Gahanna School System, and retiring from the Groveport Madison schools as a School Administrator.

Neil will be greatly missed by his wife Janet, son Kirby (Michelle) Lantz, daughter Kelly (Jon) Wilkins, and 4 grandchildren: Mia and Carter Lantz and Katie and Josh Wilkins.  Also grieving is his sister Nan (Lynn) Geuy and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was predeceased by his parents: S. Tritt Lantz and Claire Lucas Lantz Tappy, and sister Shirley (Herman) and their son Stephen Pence.

Neil was an avid Ohio State University fan.  He loved sports and will miss having the opportunity to share his love of basketball and outdoor sports with his grandchildren.  Despite having traveled extensively with Janet's family, anyone who knew Neil will tell you he was his happiest at "South Ridge" (Trimble, Ohio). 
 
Neil will be remembered for always having a story to tell.  He shared himself with everyone he met.  His mantra was: “be aware of how Attitude, Perception and Choice affect your life”.

Services will be held on Saturday, March 15th at Xenos Christian Fellowship (1934 N. 4th St. Columbus, Ohio 43201).  Visitation will be from 2PM-4PM followed by a memorial service. Guests are invited to stay after the service for a gathering of friends and family as we celebrate the life of Neil Lantz.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Neil Lantz Scholarship Fund at P.O. Box 307276, Columbus, OH 43230. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by matthew bond on 5th November 2016

"All I hear now while painting the garage or staining my deck. Is Neil's stories of his painting days. His stories still pop in my head. South Ridge isn't the same without him. Neil's smile and stories are dearly missed."

This tribute was added by Johanne Willis on 3rd March 2015

"It's hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since the passing of our dear friend and classmate, Neil.  Looking through old photos today, I could see him smiling, laughing or telling one of his "wild tales" around a roaring fire at South Ridge.  We will never forget this dear man.  Love to Janet and their family today...his spirit lives on!!"

This tribute was added by Tom James on 2nd May 2014

"Janet,Kirby, Michelle, Kelly, John, And Grandchildren,
     Since Pat and I were not at home at the time of Neil's death, we are still having a hard time believing it.  We have been remembering all the occasions we had with Neil and laugh at a lot of them.  What a talker.  We will certainly miss him and have been praying for the whole family.  We feel blessed that we were his friends. Pat and Tom James"

This tribute was added by Bob & Eloise Rice on 20th March 2014

"We were honored to know Neil through his in-laws, George and Lois Snader in Lodi Ohio.  My parents lived across the street  on Janice Street.  We are very sorry for your loss."

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 16th March 2014

"Janet, Kirby, Kelly, and families,  John and I want to let you know that the tribute yesterday for Neil was perfect.  We have spent a majority of the day talking about how proud Neil would have been.  Please know that we are here for you.  Love, John and Nancy"

This tribute was added by Kirby Lantz on 16th March 2014

"I am really going to miss Uncle Neil. Some of the things I appreciated about him: He always encouraged me to go to college and get my education. I am now a teacher (15 years). Uncle Neil, of course, was pleased with that because he was an educator before going into administration. Over the years Neil regularly asked me how it's going in the classroom and always had positive things to say about my work with inner city students and he encouraged me to keep pressing on even tough it's hard. He had lots of tips on ow to manage my classroom. Some were good. Some (like the Vulcan neck squeeze...I never did that) Ha. Ha. Something else I appreciated about him was that he always supported the events that John and I have had. Every year he and Janet have come to out Night before Thanksgiving "stretch your belly" party and our Drowsy Lad Party (Irish Band). He also came each year to our summer family pool party and he and Janet were always two of the last people to leave. It was evident that he loved a good party! He loved meeting and talking with people. One thing is for sure...once you met Neil, you never forgot him. Isn't that true? He will always be in my heart and I will never forget him.  

Jill Cleary (niece)"

This tribute was added by Thomas McInturff on 14th March 2014

"Deepest sympathy to Neil's family.  I grew up with Neil and had not seen him for 40 years until he surprised me at my class reunion in 2009.  It was so great seeing him again and I am so sorry we did not get to spend more time together.  My God's blessing be with all of you.
Tom McInturff"

This tribute was added by James Unger on 14th March 2014

"Janet, Kirby, Kelly- I knew Neil for 23 years.  He was intelligent, insightful, caring, and always maintained his sense of humor.  He always asked how my son was and how he was doing in school. He even remembered my son's dog's name.  All his wonderful stories were laced in humor. I will greatly miss him, but will always have the memories, as all of you do.
                                          Jim Unger"

This tribute was added by Bob Harrison on 12th March 2014

"I was truly saddened as I read about the passing of Mr. Lantz.  Mr. Lantz was my first basketball coach at Hamilton Township in the early 63 or 64 time range.  I remember his practices very well - man-oh-man, how he liked to make us run!  He was always in gym pants with his keys hanging on one of those outside the pants key rings always jingling as he showed us some drill he wanted us to complete.  I only wish we were a better team for him as our record was nothing to remember.  We all knew he wanted us to do our best - that was good enough for him - for us to show effort and try.  My deepest condolences to you about losing the 'Coach'."

This tribute was added by Tim Reno on 12th March 2014

"I have many memories of Neil. I started my career as a teacher at Lincoln Junior High and met Neil right away? I always tried to beat him in basketball one on one and never did. I worked for him that summer painting houses and he made it fun. He will be missed and my heart and prayers go out to Janet and his family."

This tribute was added by Johanne Willis on 11th March 2014

"Sending to you, Janet, and all your family, our love, prayers and deepest sympathy.  
Dick and Johanne Willis"

This tribute was added by wendy travis on 11th March 2014

"Kirby,  I was so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing.  My heart goes out to your entire family, but particularly your mom. I will pray for peace, comfort, strength, protection and joy for her.  He will be missed desperately."

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 11th March 2014

"My deepest sympathies to Janet and the Lantz family on your loss.  I feel so privileged to have been able to share a large portion of my life growing up around Neil. I have always laughed, smiled and definitely danced as a result of Neil’s infectious personality, he truly made each moment with him one to always remember. He has without a doubt made a lasting impression on my life and all those who were fortunate enough to share time with him.  I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Mark Heck"

This tribute was added by Stephen Pence jr on 11th March 2014

"We are very saddened and sorry to hear of your loss Aunt Janet, Kirby Kelly and family.  Its been awhile since we have seen everyone, although cannot help remembering how Uncle Neil would bring out the smile with a story or just talking with you.  A great man whose presence will be missed by many.  Our thoughts and prayers for your strength through everything.  Cecille Steve&Allen"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 10th March 2014

"Dear Aunt Janet and Kirby and Kelly,
Our prayers are with you all. Uncle Neil was a great friend and mentor  to me.  He always had the best stories at family gatherings. With his encouragement I continued my education and I am currently working on my Masters Degree.  There are so many great memories of all the vacations and outings with the family. There are so many words of wisdom he shared. I will really miss him and the special relationship I had with him.
Love and Blessings to the Lantz family
   Mike and Lynn"

This tribute was added by David Roscoe on 10th March 2014

"Janet, Kirby, Kelly and families,

Our deepest sympathies.  We are so sorry for your loss.  It was a shock to both of us and so unexpected.  We will miss Neil very much.  We so enjoyed his company at our annual get togethers for the Red, White and Boom shows, the birthday gatherings and New Years Eve parties we had over the years.  He had a sharp wit and many tales that kept those parties lively.  We will cherish those times and always remember them fondly.

Dave and Lavonne Roscoe"

This tribute was added by Winnie Hafner on 10th March 2014

"My mom (Barbara Boring Teague) was a teacher at Dunloe and Mr. Lantz was her principal during the time that my father became ill and subsequently passed away. Mr. Lantz was supportive and kind to my mom during this very difficult period of time, and always had a kind word when us kids would visit mom at school. This is over 20 years ago and I have never forgotten how nice he was to my mom during this hard time. You have our family's deepest sympathy for this very great loss."

This tribute was added by matthew bond on 10th March 2014

"Our thoughts and prayer to the Lantz family.  Never had so much fun down on South Ridge. From the "Man Weekend" to the" Lantz Family Hog Roast". Neil always had jokes or just something funny to say. After leaving both event. U always had something Neil said in your conversation or running through your head. We will always smile when we talk or think of Neil."

This tribute was added by Jo Anne Harland on 10th March 2014

"Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Jo Anne and Donny Harland"

This tribute was added by Steve Kesler on 10th March 2014

"Neil was such a positive individual. He always came in with a smile and a great story to tell! He will be missed by all of us here at the Bob-Boyd Auto Family"

This tribute was added by Jeff Drake on 10th March 2014

"So sorry to hear that Neil passed away.  I will miss our phone conversations about our families, hunting and cabins in the hills.  He will be missed by many.  He touched so many lives."

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 9th March 2014

"I'm so sorry to hear. We had such a good time visiting a few years ago!
Chris and Rita Fisher"

This tribute was added by keith Dobbs on 9th March 2014

"Forevermore, when we hear the phrase "fireside chat", see a fire pit, or smell a whiff of wood smoke, we will think of Neil and the family.  What great friends and hosts all through the years who made South Ridge a special Shangri-la and it's circle of friends so memorable.  Sadly, that circle has been broken.  We will always cherish our memories

Barb and Keith"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 9th March 2014

"Randy and I attended the family gathering at your property in southern Ohio several years ago, and we especially enjoyed getting to know you and Neil.  Our hearfelt sympathy and prayers for you all.  With love from Nancy Lowry Toms (Wilma's daughter) and Randy"

This tribute was added by Jean Mathews-Mitchell on 8th March 2014

"Dear Janet, Kirby, Kelly, and family,
I was shocked and saddened when I read of Neil's passing. I have such fond memories of him teaching my gym class, especially when trying to learn square dancing at Gahanna Lincoln . I was so honored that you and your husband would allow me to babysit for Kirby during his infancy. Neil was such an inspiration and role model to his students. I possibly would not have completed college, nursing, and earned a masters degree without his encouragement so long ago. I went on to become a university educator and administrator. Thank you for sharing your loving family with me during such an impressionable time in my life. Kirby was the happiest baby ... so full of joy just like his father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this most difficult time.
God Bless you and your family,
Jean Mathews-Mitchell"

This tribute was added by Ryan H on 8th March 2014

"Neil was a great neighbor, role model, passionate educator, and most of all a wonderful human being.  Some of my best childhood memories growing up involved Neil, a basketball, and a white t-shirt pulled over his head making free throws. It wasn't until I was older that I figured out how he actually could make those shots. Neil taught us a lot growing up and set a great example about life and hard work. I know without question he made all of our lives better having him be apart of it. You will be missed Neil.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you Janet and family.
Ryan & Melissa Heck"

This tribute was added by Lori Bowsher on 8th March 2014

"Janet, Kelly & Kirby,
Please accept our deepest sympathy. We were so shocked to hear of the sad news of Neil passing away unexpectedly.  Neil was such a nice man, loving and caring and always had stories to tell and advice to give about health and life. There just aren't any words to say how sorry we are for your loss. Neil and Ed are now in heaven designing a new park together. Please if there's anything you or the kids need or just want to talk please don't hesitate to call me. We will see you Saturday. May God wrap his arms around you all for comfort and love. God best you. Love, Kevin & Lori"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"It is with fond memory that I remember Neil as the "big Guy' at the family gatherings in Ohio.  He was always very quick to smile and gave everyone a reason to feel comfortable.  Our sympathy to you, and your family, for their loss.    Jim Weiler and Family"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"Neil sat in front of me in home room senior year - Lantz/Lash.  He was a sweet and funny guy; the perfect person with whom to start the day.  It sounds as if he had a great life, fortunate in career and family.  It ended much too soon.  My sympathy to you all, Sarah Lash Dowds"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"Dear Janet and family,
It is with an ever present feeling of shock and sadness at Neil's sudden passing onboard ship that John and I send our most sincere sympathy. We too will remember him with such a joy for life, storytelling, looking so forward to the class gatherings and trips, sharing a visit to South Ridge in October 2005, and such devotion to you and family.  I would also like to add admiration at how hard working and industrious he was.  His love for and devotion to education and love of Ohio State (as we had complimented him on his nice shirt on the cruise) was always present and would engage us in conversation at any opportunity.  We just love him for all the good qualities that you both share.  Prayers are ever ongoing for all of you.  May God's arms enfold you, strengthen you, comfort you, and carry you through the most difficult of days ahead.  Our love and prayers are with you, John and Beverly Hanes of Orange, Texas."

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"We smile when we think of Neil as he brought out joy in everyone.  He was an inspiration to so very many people and he was absolutely loved by everyone.  He remains in our minds the joyous boy who was a senior in high school when we first knew him.  He was that same "senior boy" at our class reunion in July and while entertaining at his beloved South Ridge.  Thanks so much Neil for staying the same throughout your wonderful life. With sincere love and prayers for his whole family....Eddie and Joyce Luse"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"Dear Janet, Fred and I were shocked and saddened when we received your email this morning, especially since we had just had that nice evening with you both 2 nights before you left on your trip. He was in such good spirits and we all enjoyed the evening- we're grateful we had that time with you both. Our sincerest condolences to you, Kirby, and Kelly. Love, Barb and Fred"

This tribute was added by susan sveen on 8th March 2014

"Dear Lantz family,  We are so very sorry for your sudden and tragic loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you now and will continue to be in the days and weeks ahead.  

Most sincerely,  
Russ and Susan Sveen (friends of Kirby and Michelle)"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"I'm so glad you both had 49 wonderful years together and Were in joy at the time of his passing. Sending you my deepest blessings and sympathy at this time. Love To you and your family. Betty"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"Praying for strength at this time Kirby LantzJanet Snader Lantzand Kelly Lantz Wilkins. The world is a better place thanks to Neil. Roger and I are so grateful for the memories of wonderful times together as our families grew and more recently. As many of his friends have commented, Neil loved life in many dimensions. His legacy will live on in his family and all those whose life he touched. Thanking God for the life of Neil K. Lantz. :Lovingly, Nancy and Roger"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"our prayers  are with you and your family and to a good teammate (neil)bill and Janice armstrong"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"We know how much education meant to Neil, eventually. :)  I am remembering Senior English class and Mrs. Philians going "tst, tst tst" as she handed back our papers.
When Neil entered a room, the laughter and joy began.
We hope for strength for Janet and the family.  --Bill and Ruby Stinson"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"I left the St. Paris area after Graham HS for the Navy, 22 years later, for a second career as an Educator.  I did not know that Neil devoted the better half of his life also in Education until I met Neil again at the Graham HS 50th.  His accession to School Administrator is truly a tribute to his devotion to the most important career in our country!
   Lcdr Robert & Mrs. Marian Zafran    USN Retired        Salem Oregon"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"As Neil always said when he was with us as a class group, "You make
me feel like I'm one of your members" and that's the way we always felt
about him.  Always enjoying talking with him.  He was a great friend and
will miss him greatly.  He will always be in our thoughts.
Ken and Patty Zsarnay"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

""Great memories from our school days & class reunions.  Thinking of the family and lifting them in prayer for strength and comfort at this time.
   "Jim Ballard.""

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 8th March 2014

"Dear Janet and family. Neil was one of our gang that will be missed so much. Always enjoyed the time I got to spend with you and the classmates whenever we were together. Your  in my prayers and thoughts  .Judy McGowen"

This tribute was added by Becky Wilkins on 7th March 2014

"So many memories!  Loved all of his stories. Doug's favorite is being "tricked" into going to South Ridge to chop wood - he thought he was going to get to fish and watch basketball!  Neil always made us feel like family. His love for all of you was always so apparent. He will be missed!
Love,
Doug, Becky, Maggie, and Charlie"

This tribute was added by sara schwanzl on 7th March 2014

"My love and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. I will hold dear to my heart all the nights spent at South Ridge listening to Neil's stories by the campfire especially the school ones, a very special Dad's weekend at OU, and all the hugs. Neil always made me feel like a part of your family. Already greatly missed. Love, hugs, and prayers,
Sara and Greg and family"

This tribute was added by Jen Dixon on 7th March 2014

"My thoughts and prayers are with you Janet, Kelly, Kirby and families. I have many fond childhood memories of Neil, his zest for life, and gentle, caring ways. His smile and enthusiasm were contagious. Many hugs and much love."

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 7th March 2014

"Holding you and the whole family in our thoughts and prayers.
Neil was loved and will be missed by all of us.
                       Dick and Donna Smith"

This tribute was added by janet Lantz on 7th March 2014

"With our deepest sympathy and caring to you and all the family.
Lew and Eileen Jones"


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janet Lantz
Kirby Lantz
Kelly Wilkins

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