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Obituary: William W. Lantrip, Jr. SLI baseball player 1949,50 ,51 – October 24, 2013

Coach William W. Lantrip, Jr.

March 19, 1920 – October 24, 2013

William Wesley Lantrip, Jr., 93, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, October 24, 2013, while in the comfort of his daughter’s home, surrounded by his children.

Born in Cameron, Texas on March 19, 1920 to William Wesley Lantrip, Sr. and Kathryn Turney Lantrip, Mr. Lantrip, better known to most as “Coach Lantrip,” was a 1940 graduate of Lake Charles High School, where he was a star halfback on the football team. He attended LSU where he played football his freshman year until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941. Coach honorably served his country during World War II until 1945. He served in the China-Burma-India Theatre for thirty-seven months. While in the service, he pitched for his base’s baseball team. A right-hander, he was known for his sharp curve. Upon his release from service, Coach Lantrip attended McNeese State College and played several seasons of semi-professional baseball. He graduated from McNeese in 1952.

Coach Lantrip married Juanita Dark Lantrip. They moved their young family to Lafayette, where he played baseball for Southwest Louisiana Institute, now University of Louisiana at Lafayette. They then moved to the southwest Louisiana area. Coach Lantrip was one of the most successful mentors in the area during his career, winning eight district championships in his stints at Landry, DeQuincy and Lake Charles. He was head coach at Landry Memorial High School for six years, where he won district titles in 1955, 1956 and 1957, reaching the state Class A semi-finals in 1957. In 1958, Coach Lantrip moved to DeQuincy for six seasons and collected championships in 1959, 1962 and 1963. He returned to his alma mater, Lake Charles High School, in 1964 and promptly pulled the Wildcats out of a five-year slump into a three-way tie for the District 2-AAA championship with LaGrange and Sulphur. In 1964 Coach Lantrip’s fellow coaches voted him the winner of the American Press Southwest Louisiana Coach of the Year award, in which he drew the second-highest point total in the history of the award.

Coach Lantrip also served as Superintendent of Physical Education for Calcasieu Parish School Board from 1967 until his retirement in 1985. He earned his Master of Education degree from McNeese State University. He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church.

Those left to cherish his memory are two sons, Keith Lantrip and wife Janet of Katy, Texas and Kenneth Lantrip and wife Sherry Kay of Ruston; four daughters, Lynda Riche’ and husband “Boo” of Sulphur, Amy Walsh and husband Al of Vero Beach, Florida, Beth Fontenot and husband Bob, also of Katy, and Cherilyn Lantrip of Houston; sixteen grandchildren; and nineteen great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Juanita Dark Lantrip; his parents; one daughter, Carolyn Ann Lantrip; three sisters, Dorothy Belle Miller, Joy Gypsy Plentl, and Kathryn Burke; and one brother, Bob Turney Lantrip.

The Lantrip family would like to express their deep and heartfelt gratitude to their dad’s caregivers, Chelsea Batiste, Angela Eldridge, Mary Dargin, Ashley Dargin and Lorraine Lewis.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at Johnson Funeral Home. Reverend Al Walsh, III will officiate. Entombment will be at Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be on Friday from 5 until 8 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, One Lakeshore Drive, Suite 1585, Lake Charles, LA 70629.

Mason Lindsay contacted Don Blair about this and Don sent to the AN.

Please note Mason’s remarks below:

My high school coach passed away this week.

Don, Coach Lantrip played baseball for SLI. His wife Juanita Dark Lantrip was the sister of Alvin Dark who was a remarkable athlete at SLI. 


Among the great ones who played and coached the game is Coach William Lantrip know as Coach Lantrip to us and will always be Coach. We remember him for the great athlete, teacher, coach, veteran, Superintendent of Physical Education Calcasieu Parish, father and husband that he has been for so many years. Coaches are loved and measured in the hearts and minds of their players who remember what that coach taught them on the field…that field of life. Coach Lantrip is the coach and teacher who demanded that all players and students do the right thing, the things that counted. In the grind of practice he taught us to know the difference between losing and winning….to dare to taste victory…. to have that fleeting moment that will last a lifetime….. to remember that moment when our dreams take us back to the field of play. Those lessons taught us so much more than football.

Mason Lindsay