John Louis Lanzetta, Sr.
Colchester, VT/ Sarasota, FL
March 24, 1945 – September 11, 2020
The original Lucky Lance left us peacefully in his home on the morning of September 11, 2020. He gave himself plenty of time to make his golf cart rounds in his neighborhood above and to make his mother’s 5pm (sharp) birthday party.
His generosity of heart likely made his entrance through the pearly gates guaranteed, arriving with day-old donuts, a couple of pizza’s, his famous apple pies and maybe a few magazines for St. Peter to read when he’s ‘on a break’.
Born the second of six children to Salvatore and Philomena Lanzetta, John spent his youth creating memories all across Burlington. Memories include being towed behind the sidewalk snow plow with his siblings, working with his uncles in Izzo’s market, whispering too much in school and hiding the woods in order to smoke a cigarette during his cross-country races at Rice.
In 1965, John graduated from the School of Modern Photography and became a professional photographer. He worked for E.J. Kirk Studios before opening Lance Studios in 1968. He had great success, winning Vermont photographer of the year in 1967 and 1968 and becoming president of the Vermont Photography Association in 1971. John was also a member of the Vermont National Guard and served from 1965-1971 and was a volunteer fireman from 1972-1983.
In 1969 he met Margaret Hauke in the Mill and his life was forever changed. His studio was located near her classroom in the Ethan Allen Shopping Center and before long he was storing juice for her nursery school students in his refrigerator (becoming known as the ‘Juice Man’). They were engaged shortly thereafter and married at St. Marks church on October 10, 1970.
After a few years of convincing by William Hauke, he joined Hauke Building Supply. This blended well with his relentless nature and tireless work ethic. He had countless memories of working ‘on the job’ with all of the guys on the crew and always enjoyed the stories that everyone would tell. To this day, he still holds the record for driving in reverse through the shopping center with at least one door open.
John magnetized everyone with his stories, authenticity and smile. He truly enjoying having people around and would always find a way to entertain anyone that he crossed paths with. He always had a dirty joke and never hesitated to give advice (whether it was asked for or not). Lucky innately knew when someone needed a hug, but unwilling to actually wrap his arms around you, he would find other ways to make you smile. He touched all of our hearts – his generosity displayed in more ways than anyone knew. Many of you remember him making pizzas, sharpening ice skates, umping a game, plowing your driveway, mowing your lawn or teaching you how to fish.
John loved his grandchildren. Once they were able to interact with him, Pop Pop shined! The little ones learned he could fix anything that they broke, his wallet always had a two-dollar bill and to hold on tight during golf cart rides.
John is survived by his wife, Margaret Lanzetta; his children John Jr., Bill and his wife Jessica, Allison and Joe; grandchildren, Sullivan, Vincent, Parker and Lily; He is also survived by his sisters Sally Dion and her husband Ray, Christine Barbone, Kathy Harris and her husband Seth and his brother Ed. This also includes a special niece Jennifer and family members Heather, Angela and Acadia as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is predeceased by his father Salvatore, mother Philomena and brother Jimmy.
COVID has postponed what Lucky really wanted – a big party with all of you there to share stories. Once we are able, likely Summer 2021, we will share our plans for his celebration. Until then, a small gathering family will privately celebrate his life. We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of care and support from all of you.
If you would like to make a memorial gift, we ask that you make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at: http://fightcf/cff.org/goto/luckylance You can also send donations c/o Margaret Lanzetta, 1925 Colchester Point Road, Colchester, VT 05446.
Life with Lucky was an adventure, and it was best to just close your eyes and enjoy the ride. We’ll miss him deeply, but are grateful at how many of you considered him a good friend.
Arrangements are in care of Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant Street, Essex Jct., VT.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Louis Lanzetta, Sr., please visit our floral store.