A/Captains Gene and Elsie Lantz enter retirement
Auxiliary Captains Gene and Elsie Lantz recently retired from active service in The Salvation Army after many years of distinguished service.
Elsie Heaver was born of officer parents into a multi-generational Army family in Port Huron, Michigan.
Gene, born in Flora, Ind. to a farming family, enlisted in the Air Force after high school. Early in his military career, he met Elsie, who introduced him to The Salvation Army. The couple wed in 1962 and had two daughters, Karen Elaine and Julie Ann.
Gene served in Japan, at Vandenberg AFB, and in Vietnam, where he earned the Bronze Star and the Vietnam ribbon for valor.
In 1977, after Gene retired from the military and received a bachelor’s degree from the U. of Nebraska, the family decided to move to Clovis, New Mex. En route in 1978, they suffered a tragic accident, which claimed the lives of both daughters (ages 13 and 14) and crippled Elsie for life. Earlier that day, both Karen and Julie had spoken of their relationship with Christ—a blessing and a witness to God’s presence in the midst of tragedy.
A few nights later, Gene returned to the scene of the accident and gave himself fully to Christ. While hospitalized, Elsie sought ways to serve God, at first by praying for others admitted to the hospital.
In 1983, Gene and Elsie were instrumental in the construction of a Christian TV station in the Caribbean in memory of their daughters.
In the late 80s, the Lantzes helped open the Yuba/Sutter Corps; they also helped at the Victor Valley and Ontario corps (Calif.). They moved on to San Francisco, where Gene was administrator of the Silvercrest Residence and Elsie was the Army representative to the San Francisco County jails.
During this time the couple was accepted as Auxiliary Captains and saw appointments to Red Bluff and Santa Rosa Silvercrest in Calif. Later they served in the Northwest Division.
In retirement, Gene and Elsie continue to serve the Lord by showing God’s love and giving a helping hand whenever possible. Their address is P.O. Box 804, Deer Park, WA 99006.