James Anthony Lanza ’66 entered into eternal rest on Dec. 21, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz. He was 70 years old.
James was born on March 9, 1944 in Seattle, Wash., and was the eldest of eight children of Joseph and Gloria Lanza. He grew up in Seward Park and later became a standout athlete in football, baseball, and basketball at Seattle Prep. He continued on to Santa Clara University in California where he was a standout player on the football team (as a member of the "Rodents") and graduated in 1966 with a degree in business. He stayed in touch with many of his close SCU friends after he graduated.
James worked in insurance for several years, and then he met the love of his life, Gloria Ludke from Port Angeles. James and Gloria married in Port Angeles on May 20, 1972. They bought a home in Seattle and started a family in 1974. They had two sons, Mario and Dominic, and then James switched careers and became a lawyer after attending and graduating from Gonzaga Law School in Spokane in 1980.
James and his family moved to Bellevue in 1981, and he worked as a personal injury lawyer on the Eastside for more than 20 years. He relocated to Port Townsend in 2004, and spent the remainder of his life there, aside from the last few months of his life which were spent in an assisted living facility in Phoenix, Ariz., where he had moved to be closer to his son and grandchildren.
James was an active member of St. Louise Parish in Bellevue, and he was a well-respected youth football and basketball coach in Bellevue for many years. He was also a proud member of the Seattle Seafair Clowns for most of his life. But his greatest love was probably the sport of horse racing. James loved to go to the track (first Longacres, and then Emerald Downs), and he loved anything involved with horses or horse racing or teaching his sons about horse racing. He was also a great bowler, he carried a mid 200’s average as a young man and he later taught his sons to be standout bowlers as well.
James will be remembered as an exceptionally sweet man who had a good heart, a successful law career, a great family, and the innate ability to find free parking anywhere in the state of Washington.
James is survived by his two sons, Mario Lanza ’96 (Diana) Upland, Calif., and Dominic Lanza (Jess) of Phoenix, Ariz. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Vanessa, Nicholas, Ben, and Luke, as well as seven siblings, David, Julie, Vincent, Gina, Mary, Lisa, and Lori. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 31 years, Gloria Ludke Lanza, as well as his parents, Joseph Lanza ’32 and Gloria Lanza.