Many people would say the one phrase that epitomizes Lantz Welch is, “large and very much IN CHARGE!” So much so that his family has always believed Lantzlot would write his own obituary…which he did. You can visit lantzlot.com to find the story of Lantz’s life, his loves and his passions in his OWN words.
Lantz passed away July 21, 2016 at his home in Kansas City surrounded by his family.
The son of Philip and Evelyn Welch, both of blessed memory, Lantz was born on September 25, 1932 in Kansas City. He was the second of two children. Lantz always claimed he inherited his optimistic enthusiasm from his mother but his razor sharp intellect was definitely a gift from his father. Known as a guy not to mess with, his youth was spent around loading docks, meatpacking houses, construction jobs, truck driving and boxing halls. But he maintained good grades and graduated from Southwest High School in 1952. Lantz went on to graduate from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1957 and then put himself through law school. He earned his J.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1959.
Lantz became an ultra-successful plaintiff’s trial lawyer, achieving several world-record verdicts over the course of his career. He was recognized by the Missouri House of Representatives and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association as one of the top trial lawyers in the world. He was a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been listed in the book “The Best Lawyers in America” since its inception in 1983. He tried over 200 jury cases to verdict, three of which were world records. He did not lose a case for 28 years.
Lantz had a unique ability to connect with the members of the jury. He was the first attorney to successfully take on the chemical industry for water and ground pollution resulting in a record verdict in favor of his clients. He successfully represented victims of the Hyatt disaster including Sally Firestone. He was known as a fearless lawyer who took on Corporate America. He meticulously researched and prepared for each case living by his seven Ps motto–Prior Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
After more than 45 years of trial practice, Lantz and the love of his life, Laura, spent their leisure time traveling the world. They devoted their resources focusing on the needs of at-risk, urban core youth. Sir Lantzlot always played as hard as he fought in the courtroom. He was a passionate and enthusiastic hobbyist, always striving to be the best. Those included flying aerobatic airplanes, scuba diving and underwater photography, sailing, ski racing, billiards and ping pong. He was a voracious reader, and lover of music, fine wine, food and cigars. He even chronicled his colorful life in an autobiography entitled “Mr. Lucky.”
Lantz is survived by his loving wife, Laura; sister, Jody Searing; sons Rick Welch (Tina) and Greg Welch; grandchildren Scott, Erica, Bridget and Caitlin; his beloved dog Tessa; some awesome friends; and, literally thousands of people that he has helped through his work and philanthropic efforts. Lantz’s endeavors to provide urban core youth services and programs will continue on through the Welch Family Foundation.
Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers; the family suggests donations to the Welch Family Foundation P.O. Box 14244, Kansas City. MO 64152.
Lantz has now passed on to the Land of Kings.