Opal Ida Lantz

January 4, 1932December 2, 2018

Opal Ida (Rice) Lantz, 86, died peacefully on December 2, 2018. She was born on January 4, 1932 in Wentworth, Missouri to Hiram Alvah Rice and Frances Elizabeth (Berrier) Rice Batson.

Opal graduated from Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, MO in 1951 with an Associate’s Degree in Vocal Music and Piano and a Minor in History. Opal married Wesley Melburn (Mel) Lantz, her college sweetheart, on June 21, 1953. Together, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky where Opal began her role as a Southern Baptist pastor’s wife that spanned over 45 years of ministry in 12 churches throughout Kentucky, Iowa and Missouri. In 1957, God blessed them with their daughter, Suzanne Elaine Lantz , and in 1965, He blessed them again with their son, Stuart Rice Lantz. Her children and grandchildren remember her as a loving mother and grandmother who encouraged them to live for Jesus and to pursue their goals.

Opal was accomplished at piano and sharing her love for music. She continued her piano playing at The Baptist Home in Ozark, MO…even most recently on October 28, for the morning worship service. She has always put God first in her life and has shined for Him in all that she has said and has done, pointing others to Him. She loved home and world missions and was passionate about sharing that love with others. She was an active and dedicated member of the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) teaching missions to all age groups from pre-school to adults.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Wesley Melburn Lantz; her parents, Hiram Alvah Rice and Frances Elizabeth Berrier Rice Batson; her two sisters, Marion Chamberlain (husband Bryce) and Lois Blevins and her brother, Gerald Dobbs (wife Mary Kay).

Opal is survived by her daughter, Suzanne Lantz of Springdale, Arkansas and Stuart Lantz and daughter-in-love, Kristia – grandchildren, Wesley, Michael and Elizabeth of Kansas City, Kansas and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation is scheduled for 1:00 pm and the Service at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, December 5 2018 at Newcomer’s White Chapel in Gladstone, MO with a short graveside service to follow at East Slope Cemetery in Riverside, MO. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Opal's life.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Baptist Home, P.O. Box 1040, Ozark, MO 65721.

The family would like to thank The Baptist Home for their care of their mother over the past 4 years since their dad’s passing. We would also like to thank Cox South Hospital for the care they provided her during her last days with us. We would also like to thank the multitude of church family and friends over the years that supported their ministry and loved them as their brother and sister in Christ.


  • Hiram Alvah Rice, Father
  • Frances Elizabeth (Berrier) Rice Batson, Mother
  • Wesley Melburn Lantz, Husband
  • Marion (Bryce) Chamberlain, Sister
  • Lois Blevins, Sister
  • Gerald (Mary Kay) Dobbs, Brother
  • Suzanne Lantz, Daughter
  • Stuart (Kristia) Lantz, Son
  • Wesley, Michael and Elizabeth, Grandchildren

  • Wesley Lantz
  • Michael Lantz
  • Elizabeth Lantz
  • Stuart Lantz
  • Suzanne Lantz
  • Jana Bradshaw
  • Allan Kumm
  • Sean Porter

  • The Baptist Home


  • Visitation Wednesday, December 5, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Opal Ida Lantz

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kristie Brinkley

December 6, 2018

I have wonderful and happy memories of Opal! She was such a sweet and loving person and had a positive influence on me and my family while her and Bro. Mel were at our church in Platte City. There are many great times to remember of Opal, Bro. Mel and Stuart as I grew up.

Ms. Opal was my piano teacher and taught me how to make beautiful music and we always ended our sessions with a game of Boggle. I truly enjoyed going to her house after school for lessons about piano and how to be a good Christian woman.

She always had a positive word for me and to this day I smile when I think of her and her loving ways.

I know she is with Bro. Mel and my mom, in heaven, and I'm sure they are enjoying catching up.

My love and prayers to Stuart, Suzanne and the entire family.

Jan Hollis

December 5, 2018

Our family was blessed to know Opal and Mel during the years Mel pastored the Boonville church during the 1970s. It was a wonderful time full of laughter and love as we watched our children grow and come to know Jesus. Opal's graciousness was in play even when our daughter "accidentally-on-purpose" told us that a piano recital was an hour later than it actually was. Years later we connected again with Opal and Mel when he married that same girl after leading her fiance to Jesus. We are blessed to have known all the Lantzes!

Mary Hamby

December 5, 2018

I was privileged to work with Opal and Mel during the time I served as secretary in the Clay-Platte Baptist Association. They were both most gracious in their service while serving together. My prayers to the family. They were so proud of each of you and spoke of you often.