James Edward Lanker

Aug. 22, 2016

James Edward Lanker (BS MECH EGR ‘ 58), Scottsdale, Ariz., died July 10, 2016, in Scottsdale. He was 80. 

He was born Feb. 5, 1936, the only child of Florence and Ted Lanker, in Lima, Ohio. He attended high school in Sandusky, Ohio, and during his senior year, he began dating the love of his life, Patricia Diane Williams. Together, they went to Michigan State and were married 60 years ago. 

At MSU, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1958 and also was a member of the 1957 Big Ten Championship swim team. 

He launched his career in the automobile industry with General Motors, which took him to Arizona to oversee the proving grounds in 1965. Through the years, he successfully owned and managed six car dealerships in Arizona and California. He was a member and held many offices in Automobile Dealer Associations in both of these states. 

He is survived by his wife, Diane, three children, Glen Lanker and his wife, Linda, Greg Lanker and his wife, Jenny, and daughter, Anne Roberts and her husband, Jeff; nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. 

There was a memorial mass on Aug. 20 at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 16245 North 60th Street, Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Memorials may be made to the Down Syndrome Connection, www.dsconnectionsnw.org. or doctorswithoutborders.com

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