Don W. Nantz obituary

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Don .


Dr. Don W. Nantz, a former Western Michigan University administrator and faculty member, died Dec. 18. He was 92.

Nantz, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was an assistant dean emeritus of engineering and applied sciences and a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering. He joined the WMU faculty in 1952 and retired in 1984 after nearly 32 years of service to the University.

Beginning in 1975, Nantz held several key administrative positions in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences: assistant dean, director of admissions and chairman of the Applied Sciences Council. Prior to that, he had served as the college's coordinator of academic advising for seven years.

Nantz is credited with developing several degree programs at WMU, in addition to supervising two Michigan Department of Education projects to improve the transferability of occupational community college credits to the University.

He served in the Navy aboard a submarine in the Pacific during World War II, then went on to earn bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a doctoral degree from Bradley University.

A certified manufacturing engineer, he was a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and a past chairman of the organization's Kalamazoo chapter. He also was a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, American Vocational Association, Michigan Industrial Education Society and Phi Delta Kappa.

Nantz was active in the community, as well. He was a Kiwanis member for many years, serving a stint as lieutenant governor of Kiwanis International's Michigan district, and a member of the Elks Lodge in Kalamazoo.


In accordance with his wishes, no public services are planned. Memorial gifts may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project at or the charity of choice. Visit to make a memorial guestbook entry.