Nevin L. Lantry

October 19, 1936March 17, 2020

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Lt. Col. Nevin L. Lantry, USAF (Ret), of Melbourne, FL, beloved husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 83. Nevin was born on October 19, 1936, in North Canton, Ohio, to Clarence and Edna (Yarnell) Lantry, and married Beverly Joan Laye on March 26, 1958. Together Nevin and Beverly raised two sons, Kenn and Doug.

Nevin devoted his life to public service. Soon after graduating high school, Nevin joined the U.S. Navy, serving an enlistment as a bandsman aboard the USS New Jersey. After leaving the Navy and marrying, he earned a degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University in 1960, then led the music program and marching band at Marysville High School in Marysville, Ohio, for six years. In 1966, he re-entered the military with a commission in the U.S. Air Force.

Nevin’s dedication to public service took the form of passions for teaching, learning and leadership, with a love of music, the water, and all things mechanical. His military career in music brought joy to the literally millions who heard USAF band performances throughout South America, Europe, and the U.S. His stories of USAF band trips remain legendary.

In his 28-year active duty military career, he commanded bands in South Dakota, the Panama Canal Zone, Germany, and Texas, as well as serving as Chief of U.S. Air Force Bands at the Pentagon for eight years and earning three master’s degrees. Following Air Force retirement, he worked as a crime analyst for the Orlando, FL, police department for a decade.

Not one to be idle in a second retirement, Nevin again returned to public service as a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary member in 1993, where he taught navigation, search and rescue, and water safety, educating and qualifying many Coast Guard members. The Coast Guard Auxiliary gave Nevin a way to get back to the sea he’d left many years before, this time in a technical and teaching capacity. With the USCG, he ensured coastal safety during several space shuttle launches and served as Flotilla 17-11 Commander, Division 17 Vice Commander, and in several other positions. He loved his boat, the Nev-n-Bev, and maintained it meticulously, and he especially valued the work of keeping Florida’s waters and boaters safe. He served the Coast Guard for 27 years.

In addition to his Coast Guard service, Nevin volunteered for a decade with his wife Beverly at Melbourne, Florida’s Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts. Nevin was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Edna, his son Kenn, his sister Ellen, and his brother Wayne. He is survived by his wife Beverly, of Melbourne, FL, his son Doug (Peggy Lindsey) Lantry of Xenia, OH, his sisters Janet (Glenn) Johnston of Melbourne, FL, Ardyth (John, d.) Austin and Ginny (Larry) Swanson, both of Orlando, FL, his brother Dick (Erika, d.) Lantry, of San Antonio, TX, his brother-in-law George Laye, of Washington, MA, numerous nieces and nephews, and his beloved dog, Juliett.

A celebration of life service with military honors will be scheduled at a later date due to the current public health crisis. Please check back on this website for updates. For those who can’t wait, we encourage you to have a bratwurst and a beer while viewing Dumb and Dumber, Vacation or Van Wilder while sharing the worst puns you can think of with loved ones. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Fund ( or The Ohio State University’s Eugene J. Weigel Memorial Scholarship for Music Education (


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Nevin L. Lantry

have a memory or condolence to add?

Roger Ferrell

March 22, 2020

I have to echo Jimmie Self’s comments. Colonel Lantry was one of only a very few band officers that I really enjoyed working with because he was a “straight-shooter” and really looked after his people. One of the most fair and respected people I’ve ever known, and I will miss him.

Robert Long

March 22, 2020

I hardly knew you but I could see the greatness within you. I'll miss your kindness, wisdom, and humanity. Yours was truly a life well lived. God needed a new leader for his Celestial orchestra and Chorus. Per your request, the lead vocalist will be Kenneth. The baton has been passed. Let the Heavenly music begin. And Beverly, this first number is especially for you.

Teresa and Bob Long

Joyce Carter-Bates

March 21, 2020

Bev , I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved and accomplished husband Nevin. This is a grievous loss for Doug as well.
Please know that thoughts and prayers are being said for both you and Doug during this most difficult time. May wonderful memories shared by others help to bring you both comfort and peace.
Joyce Carter-Bates

Linda Trees

March 20, 2020

So very sorry 😞

Anne Seslar

March 20, 2020

Beverly, you have no idea the difference that you and Mr. Lantry made in Charlene’s and my lives. There are no words of comfort that would be adequate at his devastating time in your families lives.
Please know, our lives were changed by your love, inspiration, and faith you exhibited.
I’m feeling so blessed right now knowing I got to see you both again on our “50th” cruise.
God will grant you all the strength to endure the difficult days ahead.
My love and prayers to you and your family.
Anne Spitler Seslar

Donna Johnston

March 20, 2020

Nevin was Gentle but strong; So incredibly smart and witty. He was Always there to lend a hand or give advice. He is a part of the family that will definitely be missed.

Jimmie Self

March 20, 2020

Some of the greatest memories of my Air Force career are from when I was stationed in Germany (1976-79) and had Col Lantry as my commander. As his First Sergeant, I got to know him very well. Of all the commanders I had, he was the absolute best at taking care of his people. I'm so thankful I got to see him a couple of years ago at Lackland AFB when we both were there for Marty Lockaby's 50th year of service celebration. We had the opportunity to reminisce and catch up on things. Col Lantry will be missed by every Air Force bandsman who worked for him.

charlene Horton

March 20, 2020

Kind and patient is how I remember him at the King Center. I always enjoyed working with him . My heartfelt prayers are with the family