Obituary: Jack Lanning Jr.

Jack Lanning Jr.
Jack Lanning Jr.
Provided Photo

February 11, 1934 – December 2, 2021

Peabody, MA – Jack Lanning Jr., died peacefully Thursday, December 2, 2021. He was the husband of the late Wendy Sims Lanning.
Born in Chicago, IL on February 11, 1934, he was the son of the late Jack and Emma Louise Lanning. He was raised and educated in Illinois and was a graduate of William Howard Taft High School and Northwestern University.
He served in the US Navy as an officer for four years. During his service, Jack was a Navigator-Bombardier deployed aboard the USS Shangri-La. In the mid-1950s, while flying a routine training mission over the South China Sea, Jack’s aircraft experienced a mechanical issue resulting in a forced crash landing. For the first time in the history of AJ-2 aircraft landings, the entire flight crew survived.
Jack’s professional career spanned several decades and industries. After many years working for Bell & Howell followed by Macmillan Publishers, Jack pursued his passion for entrepreneurship, which he employed as an owner of automobile dealerships in Glenwood Springs, CO – Buick, Pontiac, Opel, and GMC Trucks, followed by Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi. And also, as a sales manager and advisor to many startups.
Jack’s true passion, however, was singing. While aboard the USS Shangri-La, Jack organized and led a 150-man choir. Jack soloed in churches across the country, performed musical theatre and operatic roles – to critical acclaim – from Aspen to New York City, and was offered multiple opera contracts across Germany. Until his last days, Jack’s booming voice and warm smile brightened every room he entered.
Surviving him are his sons and daughters-in-law, Jack M. Lanning and Mary Lanning of Danvers, MA and Paul Lanning and Janet Dunkelbarger of Wayland, MA, and his grandchildren, Alexis Lanning and Ava Lanning of Danvers, MA. He was predeceased by his son, Charles Miley Lanning.
ARRANGEMENTS: A private graveside service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by the Conway Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody, MA. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Jack’s memory to the Brooksby Resident Care Fund c/o Resident Life, 200 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody, MA 01960. For online guestbook, please visit

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