When Lew Lanza ’57 was asked to do this interview, he said that he was both flattered and apprehensive. Apprehensive about observing historical accuracy and flattered to be asked.
Lanza remembers the class of ’57 with great fondness. “They were and still are a great bunch of guys. It is a pleasure for me to contact them every fall for the Phon-a-thon. Most have had highly successful careers. Many, like myself, are still working,” Lanza said.
During his time as a student, Lanza “had the good fortune to be taught by some very talented teachers - Brother Ivo Regan and Brother Francis Englert.” He added that he was also “privileged to play football and run track for Ray Janasek.” He continued, “I was an average-at-best athlete. My brothers Arn ’53 and Joe were much better. Joe quarterbacked his freshman team to an undefeated, unscored-upon season. In a heartbreaking accident, Joe drowned at his freshman class picnic. His loss stays with me forever.”
After Gilmour, Lanza attended Georgetown University and graduated in 1961. The same year, he was inducted into the US Army, serving at Fort Jackson, SC for basic training and Fort Bragg, NC, PSYOP School where Lanza received a security clearance-level -secret. He later spent the reserve end of his tour with the 350th PSYOP BN in Ohio.
In 1964, Lanza was made CEO and manager of his family company, Cleveland Litho and Graphic Arts Products. The company supplied printing plates and products to most of the northern Ohio litho industry, most notably American Greetings, GE, Lorain Printing and Danner Press. In 1982, Lanza made a successful sale of the company.
After selling the company, he transitioned into the life insurance and annuities field where he is still active today. “We have enjoyed many awards trips, vacations to Europe, cruises and resorts as a result of being in the business,” said Lanza.
Lanza and his wife, Maureen, recently celebrated their 48th anniversary. Though a successful businessman, his favorite role was that of a parent raising his daughters, Carrie and Susie. He is enjoying grandparenting Carrie’s two boys and Susie’s son and daughter with the same enthusiasm.
“Like everything else in life it’s the small things that matter the most,” Lanza said. “Like so many of my contemporaries I enjoy discussing politics, old movies, the History Channel, and watching the Indians, Browns and the Cavs. My favorite sports memory was the Indians winning the World Series. I saw Bob Feller pitch. It was something you never forget.”