Richard W. “Dick” Jantzer

Richard W. “Dick” Jantzer

March 07, 1941 - May 10, 2023

Richard W. “Dick” Jantzer

March 07, 1941 - May 10, 2023


Richard (“Dick”) W. Jantzer, SR, age 82, was born on March 7, 1941 in Erie, PA and passed away of respiratory failure in Costa Mesa, CA on May 10, 2023. He was the son of Ludwig J. Jantzer and Ethel E. Hagelston.

Dick was raised in Erie, PA and distinguished himself on the baseball diamond and in the classroom at Academy High School. He was a proud alumnus of Penn State University where he was on the Baseball team, active in Sigma Pi Fraternity and graduated in 1963. In his senior year, he married Marilee Dumbravo and they had a son, Richard Jr.

At graduation, Dick was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.  Prior to reporting for duty and while recovering from knee surgery, he worked as an Industrial Engineer doing Time & Motion Studies in Erie. In May 1965, he started his two-year active-duty assignment at Fort Benning where he was assigned to IOBC #10 (Infantry Officer’s Basic Course) at Fort Benning, GA. After one year Dick received orders for Fort Richardson, Alaska and he requested to change this assignment. He then received orders for Fort Lee, Louisiana and again he requested a change in his orders. His third set of orders were to the 1st Infantry Division in Viet Nam. Those orders could not be changed.

Dick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 18th Infantry Weapons Platoon. He was the senior Lieutenant and 2nd in command in the company so he was assigned as the Weapons Platoon Leader. On September 12, 1966, leading an attack in the mangrove swamps on a VC base camp Dick was wounded in an area called Vung Tau near the South China Sea. The bullet stayed in his left shoulder yet after a long wait he was airlifted to Bien Hoa where at a hospital he had surgery to remove the bullet. After release from the hospital Dick was in charge of the company area while he healed.

In January 1967 Dick joined his wife for one week in Hawaii of rest and recuperation (R&R), then in May 1967, his two- year active-duty obligation now completed; he went to Oakland, CA where he was discharged from the Army. Dick was awarded The Vietnam Service Ribbon, The Bronze Star for Valor, The Bronze Star for Merit, The Purple Heart and The Flying Medal which is earned for 25+ hours of combat missions in helicopters.

Following discharge, he accepted a job and found lodging in Montebello, CA. He then flew to Erie, PA and drove his wife and son to California to begin his life in CA. Unfortunately, six months later, he filed for divorce.

In 1971, using his VA eligibility, Dick bought a house in Costa Mesa where he lived until 1980. In 1975 Dick became a licensed Real Estate Agent, working part time. In 1977 he earned his Brokers License and started working full time in Real Estate with Ranch Realty in Santa Ana.

In 1980 he founded Jantzer Realty, working out of his home in Irvine. During 1981-82 when the interest rates were 18% and the Real Estate market slowed, he worked as a manager at various Naugles Restaurants at night, still attempting to sell Real Estate during the day. In January 1986, Dick joined the South Coast Plaza office of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Company where he was the top selling agent in August 1986 in South Orange County, and worked as manager 1987 through 1990. In 1993, he started working full time as a broker for Jantzer Realty & Property Management.

In addition to his decorated military service and successful real estate career, Dick was an active advocate of CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocate) serving youth from challenged backgrounds; was a decades long member of the Knights of Columbus, where he served as Grand Knight and a long-time member of St John Neumann Catholic community, participating in various ministries, including Bible studies. Dick is survived by his son, Rick Jantzer.

Dick’s celebration of Life will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic church in Irvine, 10 AM on May 24th. His ashes will be interred at the Miramar National cemetery in San Diego.

Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: May 24, 2023 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: St. John Neumann Catholic Church
  • Location: 5101 Alton Parkway Irvine, CA 92604 - (Get Directions)

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