Emma Lantz, 103, leader in Glen Burnie community

May 18, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Emma Myrtle Lantz, a Glen Burnie community and church leader, died Saturday of heart failure at Wilson Health Care Center at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. She was 103 and had lived in Glen Burnie until 1977.

For decades, she lived in a home on Second Avenue in Glen Burnie, where her husband, J. Herman Lantz, an engineer, ran a radio and television repair shop. The couple married in 1929. He died in 1978.

During much of her time in Glen Burnie, Mrs. Lantz belonged to the Glen Burnie Improvement Association and volunteered at its annual summer carnival.

Mrs. Lantz was a member of Glen Burnie United Methodist Church and taught Sunday school for many years. She was a president of the Christian Endeavor Society and the Society of Christian Service, in which she held office in the 1940s.

"Her long life was centered around the Bible," said her son, J. Richard Lantz of Catonsville. "She was a loving, caring person who prayed much of the day."

For 82 consecutive years, she was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Glen Burnie chapter, where she was the group's first chaplain. Family members said she is believed to have been the organization's oldest member.

Born Emma Myrtle Dunn in Baltimore, she attended public schools. As a young woman, she helped her parents run a neighborhood grocery and confectionery store on Ramsay Street.

"She told stories of the flu epidemic of 1918," said her son. "She saw a steady stream of wagons hauling coffins to Loudon Park Cemetery as they passed the store."

When her father left the city and opened a hardware store in Glen Burnie in 1922 -- then a small village -- she moved with her family and helped run the business.

Mrs. Lantz, who never owned or operated an automobile, commuted to Baltimore on the former interurban railroad, the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis. She was an office worker for Levering Lord Calvert Coffee and later a cashier for the Oriole Cafeteria on Howard Street.

She subsequently became a telephone operator for the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co.'s Glen Burnie exchange, and during World War II was a cashier for an A&P grocery store on Crain Highway.

During the 1940s and 1950s, she enjoyed taking day trips on the Bay Belle, an excursion boat that operated out of the Baltimore harbor and was managed by her brother, the late Austin J. F. Dunn.

Services were held Tuesday in Glen Burnie.

She also is survived by another son, Charles A. Platzer of Queenstown; a sister, Mary E. Adams of Gaithersburg; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and seven great-great grandchildren.

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