Jean Ann Hantz

Jean Ann Hantz of Amagansett and Potsdam, N.Y., who was described by her family as “as survivor of difficult times and an orchestrator of joyful times,” died on April 22 at the Home of the Good Shepherd in Malta, N.Y., where she had been in the Memory Care Center for four and a half years.

Born in Amherst, N.Y., on Sept. 2, 1926, to Melchior and Anna Seefried, she lost her parents and two sisters, Marie and Norma, in a car accident just after her fourth birthday and was briefly a ward of the state. An aunt and uncle raised her with their children on a small farm outside of Buffalo, where she learned to grow vegetables, cook, can, and sew.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics at the State University at Buffalo and was treasurer of the class of 1948. It was while working at the Maidstone Arms in East Hampton during college summers that she “caught the eye of Jack Hantz, a lifeguard at the Amagansett Beach Club,” her family wrote.

They were married in September of 1948 and bought land and built a cottage in the Beach Hampton section of Amagansett, spending summers there with their growing family. She was “a devoted wife, mother, and nana,” her family wrote, supporting her husband during his 32-year career as a coach and athletic director at Clarkson University in Potsdam. When Mr. Hantz retired, the couple made Beach Hampton their year-round home.

Mrs. Hantz worked at the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections, was a tour guide at the Hook Mill and Home, Sweet Home in East Hampton, and was treasurer of the Amagansett East Association for many years. She had also run a bed and breakfast called ShadBlow at her house in Amagansett.

She was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton and was active in the American Legion, the East Hampton Town Senior Citizens Center, and in the Sunshine Club.

“She was happiest when surrounded by her children and grandchildren,” her family said. An accomplished seamstress, “her creativity shone throughout her home. She loved antiquing and had a keen eye for searching out a bargain at a yard sale,” they said. A “pioneer woman,” she enjoyed clamming, canning, and “picking beach plums from her secret spot in Amagansett.” She was also a skilled gardener and loved to show off her gardens and “share the fruits of her labor with friends.”

She is survived by her six children, John J. Hantz Jr. of Potsdam, Barbara Hantz of Harvard, Mass., Margaret Cotter of Scituate, Mass., Mary Jane Hantz Greenfield of Amagansett, Susan Corona of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Thomas Hantz of Amagansett. She also leaves 11 grandchildren and many cousins and nieces and nephews. Her husband and a granddaughter died before her.

Visiting hours were on Monday at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton and a Mass was celebrated on Tuesday at Most Holy Trinity Church. Burial followed at the church cemetery in East Hampton.

Her family has suggested memorial contributions to the East Hampton Town Senior Citizens Center, 128 Springs-Fireplace Road, East Hampton 11937.