Wednesday, September 28, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Food and refreshments will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Keith Lantz, words such as steadfast, courageous, and generous come to mind, but perhaps the word that paints the most accurate picture of him is faithful. Through his generous touch and compassionate spirit, he touched so many others both near and far. Keith and his wife witnessed their family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones. A longtime resident of the community he loved, he was a stranger to none. Deeply loved, Keith will never be forgotten.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the Great Depression covered our nation and much of the world like a wet blanket throughout the entire decade and beyond. Jobs became hard to find, the unemployment rate soared, and a crippling drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years. Despite the challenges around them, Carl and Edna (Troyer) Lantz were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their twin babies as April dawned in 1937. The big day finally arrived when the baby boys they named Keith and Kenneth were born on April 8th in their family home in Howard County, Indiana. Keith was just slightly older than his brother, and when they were three they moved to Perry, Michigan, along with their family. When Keith was nine, they moved to Fairview where he was raised on the family farm where they had dairy cows and grew soybeans and corn. He enjoyed both hunting and fishing, which were hobbies he enjoyed into adulthood. Keith attended local schools including Fairview High School where he played basketball and was part of the Future Farmers of America (FFA).
After graduating in 1955, Keith and his twin brother, along with several friends, enlisted in the Army. He was stationed in Germany and enjoyed his time there. Keith always spoke very fondly of his time in Germany for the rest of his life, and he quickly picked up the German language and spoke it well until his health declined.
With his military duties fulfilled, Keith settled in the Detroit area. He soon started attending Woodward Avenue Baptist Church, and it was there that he met his future wife, her name was Betty Sue Staley. With a desire to establish a life together, Keith and Betty were married on May 13, 1960. In 1964 they moved to Paw Paw, and that was the place they called home for the rest of their lives. It was also in Paw Paw that Keith and Betty raised their three children, Debbie, Ruth, and Craig. Because Keith worked hard outside of the home, she primarily stayed at home to care for their children. He worked for Burroughs for a few years then went to work for Bell Telephone Company, which was later acquired by AT&T. This is where Keith spent the bulk of his career until retiring in 2002. Over the years he set up phone systems for many businesses. He was a hard worker and a good provider.
Although Keith enjoyed his work, nothing was better than family time. Their best family vacation was to Mammoth Cave where they went camping. They later went back with their daughter, Debbie, and visited some of the smaller caves. As a family they also went to Niagara Falls, New York City, and on camping trips as well. Keith was always there for his family, and he loved being at home. Keith took great pride in his mini farm, and he also enjoyed tinkering with taking things apart and then putting them back together better than they were before. Keith liked walking his property line and finding sticks to make walking sticks. He took great care of his farm equipment and grew the most amazing melons and cantaloupe.
Throughout his life Keith was a man of many interests. He was a strong Christian whose faith was the compass he used to direct his steps. Keith exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved as he gave so much of his time and resources. He spent 10 years with the RBM Ministries, which was very close to his heart. Keith also volunteered with the Red Cross for seven years during which time he volunteered to go to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina where he worked in restoration. He also traveled to Honduras with his brother-in-law’s ministry and helped with some building projects. Keith enjoyed spending time with their close friends, John and Vicky Hudson, could often be found out exploring, and loved spending time in South Haven. He liked old gospel music, classical music, and traditional hymns, and he loved singing in the choir. Keith enjoyed food and was a real meat and potatoes guy who never really found a food he didn’t like, but everything did go better with his Diet Pepsi. For as long as he was able, he enjoyed playing golf. Sadly, he struggled with Lewy Body disease for five years. For the first three years of his diagnosis he lived at White Oaks in Lawton, and his last two years were spent living with his daughter in Ellsworth, Michigan.
Described as loyal, faithful, and compassionate, Keith Lantz was an extraordinary man to know and love. He could be stubborn and independent while at the same time he was so compassionate and generous beyond compare. Keith was anchored by the faith that carried him through the trials he faced, and he spread the love of his Lord and Savior everywhere he went. He will be forever missed.
Keith L. Lantz, of Paw Paw, passed away peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior Saturday, September 24, 2016. Keith is survived by 3 children: Debbie (Mark) Kobit, Ruth (Eric) Hoogland and Craig Lantz; 6 grandchildren: Amanda Wright, Edward (Amina) Hoogland, Charlie (Aasha) Hoogland, Sophia (Joe) Loomis, Alex Lantz and Levi Lantz; 4 great-grandchildren: Emmaline Peterson, Preston Wright, Henry Wright, Rosalind Hoogland, and 5th due in November; 4 siblings: Rosanne (Ken) Voltmer, Jim (Mary) Lantz, Bill (Sharon) Lantz and Keith’s twin, Ken (Sharon) Lantz; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Keith was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Lantz, and a sister, Carlynn Jeffries. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Wednesday (Sept. 28, 2016) from 5-8 p.m. at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home 60900 M-40, Paw Paw (269) 657-3870 where services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. Burial with military honors at Almena Cemetery. Please visit Keith’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to RBM Ministries (PO Box 128, Plainwell, MI 49080).