Muriel E. Lantz Bailey went home to be with her Lord and Savior, on April 13, 2022. Muriel’s love of life did not end with her death. She passed away at the age of 97 surrounded by loved ones who will forever continue to honor her legacy.
She was born on December 19, 1924, the third of four children, to the late Carl A. Lantz and the late Mary E. Thomas Lantz in Mt. Pleasant, PA.
Muriel grew up in Uniontown, PA, and graduated from Uniontown High School in 1942. She graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) in 1948 at a time when there were few women in the field of Mortuary Science. She was a trailblazer, the only woman in her graduating mortuary class, and had the distinction of serving as the class secretary. She became a licensed funeral director joining her father as a part of the Lantz Funeral Home in 1950. Muriel continued in her father’s footsteps helping her community to care for their loved ones in a dignified way. She was also a deputy coroner.
Over her 97 years of life, Muriel received numerous awards for community service and for her business acumen. Muriel was one of the founders of the East End United Community Center and served on its board. She also served on several other boards including the Uniontown City Redevelopment Authority. She was a member of the Eastern Stars and the Fayette County Funeral Directors Association.
Muriel dedicated her life to service and to her community. She was a Charter Member of Interfaith Assembly for Christ Church, and she opened the funeral home chapel to the church community while it was in transition. Services were held there on Sundays until the completion of the new church located at 7 Butler Street, Uniontown, PA. On Sundays, you could find her in the back pew worshipping with her Christian brothers and sisters.
During the loss of a loved one, Muriel understood that families become confused, and in some cases angry, hopeless, and despaired. It was during these times that she captained their despair and would bring them to a safe harbor. She understood their need. She also never forgot that many people of our community suffered indignities throughout their lives. Muriel was committed to making sure that at their final rest they were presented with the dignity and honor they so deserved. She paid special attention to the details in presenting the deceased in a dignified and honorable way so that they would be remembered in a way that they deserved, sometimes at a cost to the funeral home’s bottom line. Muriel and the Lantz Funeral Home serve as a beacon to the community. Muriel’s legacy to the community is one of compassion, commitment, and stability.
She was committed in her plight to serving others even though the road was not always easy. It was her purpose and her way of also serving God. She instilled these qualities in her great nephew, Aaron whom she helped raise and loved as a son. She taught him to do God’s work by serving others and helping his community. She affectionately referred to Aaron as her “favorite person” and their bond was unbreakable. In later years, Aaron joined her in the business, and they operated the business together until her retirement in 2010 at the age of 85. After her retirement, she was so pleased knowing that the Lantz family legacy will continue to serve families for generations to come under the leadership of her nephew, Aaron, and niece, Autumn.
Businesswise she was known as the community funeral director and the demeanor of Muriel was all business, prim and proper. She always wore green tinted glasses and iconic frames of black and silver, a black jacket, frilled white blouse, a string tie, tuxedo striped skirt, and her hair in a braided bun, which depicted her comportment. However, for those who knew her she was just the opposite. She was funny, caring, and kind. She loved her family and friends unconditionally and was always there to help.
Muriel was lovingly called “Mimi” by her family. She loved pies, lemon drop candy, Reese’s eggs, lemonade, home cooked meals, only orange and red popsicles, and ice-cold water in a tin cup. She ate bread with everything, including pancakes. When she was not working, you could find her on her front porch hanging out with her friends and talking to the people in the community as they passed by. She occasionally enjoyed riding her bike around town. Gospel music was her favorite music, and she knew every word of every hymn--hymns were her favorite. She enjoyed watching night-time game shows.
Muriel was a caretaker of many of her family members and was always willing to help her family and those in need in the community. Because of her good and generous heart, three generations of nieces and nephews often spent time at her home instead of going to a sitter and elderly family members lived with her when they could no longer live on their own. She was truly a daughter, a wife, a sister, an auntie, and a friend to be treasured.
Muriel E. Lantz Bailey was and is an icon to past and future generations. As you pass down E. Main St. on the East End of Uniontown and as you stop at the stop light at Grant and Main, the last light in the East End, look to your right and you will see the legacy so befitting the works of a most wonderful woman. Ms. Muriel E. Lantz Bailey, businessperson, leader, and community icon. We will miss her, however; her legacy will forever continue.
In addition to her parents, Muriel is preceded in death by her husband of over 20 years, Lonnie Bailey; siblings: Torrance Lantz, Adele Lantz Lyles and husband, William, and Yvonne Lantz; sister-in-law, Lois Moody; cousins: Burl “Dutch” Lantz and Sherry Lantz Fairfax.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her beloved great-nephew, Aaron Lantz, and wife, Autumn, and their daughter, Jurnee; niece Molli Vassar and husband, Phillip; great-nieces, Marlana Smith and husband, Jason; Melissa Belloso, and husband, Joseph; cousins: Edward D. “Bucky” Lantz and Niya Fairfax; nieces: Tonya Lantz, Michelle “Tink” Johnson, Tonya Powell, and Cecelia Thomas; sister-in-law, Rev. Mary Baker; nephew, Lonnie Bailey; Goddaughter, Marilyn Calloway and husband, Jeffrey, and their son, Jeremiah; and dearest friend, Maxine Kirby.
A special thank you to the staff at Mt. Macrina Manor for the wonderful care they provided to Muriel. The angels there cared for her like family and made her feel at home. We are truly grateful.
Friends will be received at the LANTZ Funeral Home, Inc., 297 E. Main St, Uniontown ,PA on Sunday, April 24th from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM. A private funeral service will be held on Monday, April 25th with Pastor Eric Yarbrough, officiating. Interment will be at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, PA.
Cards and condolences may be submitted thru www.lantzfh.com.
MASKS ARE REQUIRED FOR ATTENDANCE.
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