Cover photo for Gary Lantz's Obituary
Gary Lantz Profile Photo

Gary Lantz

June 3, 1943 — December 6, 2021

Gary Lantz

Gary Lantz, 78, of Atlantic, Iowa, died Monday, December 6, 2021, at his home.

Gary Leland was born on June 3, 1943, at home west of Anita, Iowa, the son of Leland and Marilyn (Hayter) Lantz. His father passed away when he was a teenager; he had to grow up fast to care for his mother and three sisters. Gary was the Homecoming King and graduated from Anita High School in the Class of 1961. Following high school, he attended Northwest Missouri State in Maryville and also Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs after returning to the Atlantic area. On April 15, 1977, he was united in marriage to Linda Kay (Steffens) Jessen in Anita.

Gary worked at the Walnut Grove Credit Union in Atlantic and later had the opportunity to help open IBM Credit Union in Des Moines. While working there he was a personal banker and loan officer for the credit union's various branches, including offices in Rochester, Minnesota and Lincoln, Nebraska. An unexpected job offer arose that would allow him to stay closer to home and he took it, helping Dale Schwartz build homes. Gary also worked at what is currently Mahle before taking a position with Brayton Chemical selling farm chemicals. He worked there for many years and saw lots of changes of not only the company name but also the economy. In semi-retirement he started helping Bob Wheatley with garage door repair; later building quite a business for himself after Bob was no longer able to work. He was Atlantic and the surrounding area's “garage door guy," coming out at all hours of the day and night to help his customers. Gary took pride in making sure his customers were satisfied; he truly cared about them and sometimes would just happen to forget to bill them.

He loved to travel with his family; Cancun, Disney and Hawaii being a few of their favorites, and enjoyed the hunting trips he took his seed customers on. His love of vintage cars started when he purchased a 1957 Chevy and there were many others through the years. Gary’s pride and joy was his 1970 Chevelle (only having 20,000 miles) and his ’57 Chevy. At one time he owned seven classic cars and enjoyed taking them to car shows near and far, often bringing home a trophy. He was an avid collector having many, many collections, including anything that had an advertisement on it. It was known by the entire family that you didn’t plan anything for Sunday mornings as it was reserved for coffee with Dick Whetstone and Terry Rutherford when it was Van’s Chat and Chew and also The Family Table. He rarely missed and also would meet at other local places during the week. Gary was a dedicated blood donor and attended draws not only in Atlantic but surrounding areas; he gave over 20 gallons.

Gary was easy going and would do anything for you; genuinely a good guy and a true gentleman. He will be deeply missed by his wife of 44 years, Linda; sons, Craig (Nancy) Lantz and Paul Jessen; daughter, Julie (Jon) Hart; grandchildren, Tomma, Tristin, Dylan, Brayden, Brady (Bri), Maggie and Lucy; daughter-in-law, Barb Lantz; sisters, Nancy (Don) Darrow, Carolyn (Tim) Crown and Lela Boos; mother-in-law, Helen Skellenger; sister-in-law, Rita (Alan) Chesnut; and brother-in-law, Russell (Gloria) Steffens.

He is preceded in death by his father, Leland Lantz; mother, Marilyn Hoffert; step father-in-law, Max Skellenger; son, Richard Lantz; and brother-in-law, Cecil Boos.

Visitation with the family present will he held from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, December 12, 2021, at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic.

A Celebration of Life Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 13, 2021, at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic. A luncheon will be held at the funeral home immediatley following the service.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Gary’s family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Lantz, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, December 12, 2021

2:00 - 4:00 pm

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Celebration of Life

Monday, December 13, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am

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A luncheon will be held immediately following the service at the funeral home.

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