Helen Gusew Lantz died peacefully on Oct. 30, 2012. She was born May 7, 1922 in Pittsburgh, PA to Antonia and John Gusew. She married Royal Emerson Lantz on Oct.6, 1945. He preceded her in death on January 18, 1999. After graduating from Oliver HS as an honor student, Helen wanted a career in nursing. But her plans were interrupted by WW II and she made her contribution by packing parachutes for the troops. Following the war Helen married Royal, her husband of 53 years and located to Smithville. Helen quickly adapted from her urban upbringing to the rural of Wayne County with family gatherings at the Lantz farm with many new brothers, sisters, and cousins. But love of her family in Pittsburgh was never far away and many gatherings in Smithville and Pittsburgh for holidays, special occasions, and vacations created a new and large extended family. While raising 3 sons, Helen helped initiate a kindergarten and mother s club in the early 50 s due to her strong belief in education and motherhood. Special gifts and interests included her love of opera and classical music which she shared with her brother Alfred. Her love of reading and literature were especially realized with a trip to England later in life. As an accomplished baker and cook she produced special eggnog pies, apple dumplings, wonderful soups, and her famous Bubba s Pancakes . Finally she was known for not only loving to play card games, but more so for winning card games . The home that Helen created was a home for all . Grandchildren, college classmates, relatives, neighbors, and anyone seeking fellowship was always welcome at Mas s house. No one ever came once; they always returned to share love and laugh. A lifelong Smithville Smithie fan, Helen followed her sons, grandchildren, and those who followed for over 50 years. Her job in food service for the Green Local schools cemented her love for the students and their future success. Helen also was independent and strong of beliefs and opinions. Never too quick to judge but always showing support she became a special inspiration to her daughter-in-laws and grand-daughters as well as her sons and grandsons. Always committed to taking care of our earth, she became green before her time. For 13 years in the 70 s and 80 s she and Royal enjoyed wintering in Texas and gaining many new friends. Trips to Europe, Florida, Texas, and Hawaii were additional special memories for Helen. Her love of family, church, community, and country were always evident. She created so many special and loving moments for so many while never seeking attention or thanks. In a lifetime of supporting education and learning, Helen continually inspired her children and grandchildren to seek higher education and give back to their community. As a lifelong member of Smithville United Methodist church, Helen lived her faith through giving to numerous church activities and always professed her deep appreciation for all the blessings the church provided her. Finally, as a daughter of Russian immigrants, she always cherished her US citizenship. So much so that she felt it was critical to vote; which she did shortly before her death. She will be missed by all, but more significantly she will be remembered for all the love of life she shared and the good deeds she inspired. In addition to her husband Royal Sr., Helen was preceded in death by her son Thomas James in 2007, siblings Priscilla, Conrad, Sylvia, Fachina, Fay Balo and Dorothy Pikulin. She is survived by her brother Alfred (Barbara) of Pittsburgh, PA, and sons and daughter-in-laws Royal Jr. and Wendy of Debary, Florida, Richard and Linda of Southlake, Texas, and Carol Lantz of Wooster. She is also survived by grandchildren Ryan, Jennifer, Cortney, Douglas, Jason, Sarah, and Rachel, and 9 great grandchildren. Friends may call at McIntire Funeral Home Thursday, Nov. 1st from 4:30-8:00, 216 East Larwill St. Wooster, OH. 44691. Services will be Friday, Nov. 2nd at Smithville United Methodist Church at 11:30. Private family internment will be held prior to the service. Memorial contributions, in Helen s memory may be made to Hospice and Pallliative Care of Greater Wayne County, 2525 Back Orrville Road, Wooster, Oh 44691, or Smithville United Methodist Church.
Smithville United Methodist Church, PO Box 375, Smithville, OH 44677 or to Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne Co., 2525 Back Orrville Rd., Wooster, OH 44691
Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Smithville United Methodist Church
Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 4:30-8:00 p.m. at the funeral home