Mrs. Jantz was born in New York City on November 8, 1912, Her parents, Jessie Knapp and Walter Whitmore, raised her in Philadelphia, where she graduated from Swarthmore High School. She entered Antioch College in 1932 but left before finishing her studies to marry Antioch’s assistant professor of German Harold Jantz. His career took the couple to Clark University, Princeton University, and Northwestern University.
At Northwestern, Mrs. Jantz completed her Bachelor of Science degree in 1953 as a Phi Beta Kappa, her Master of Arts in 1955, and her PhD in 1959, all in the field of psychology.
Mrs. Jantz was justifiably proud to break ground by being the first woman accepted into postgraduate studies at Northwestern, as well as the first woman to serve on the Board of Psychological Examiners in Baltimore.
Mrs. Jantz taught psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Maryland School of Medicine for 18 years. She taught a course in Psychotherapy and Differential Diagnosis between Neurology and Psychiatry, which is the ability to distinguish between neurological and psychiatric disorders. Working mostly with children, she assessed patients with traumatic injuries, diseases, suicide attempts, and disabilities to determine what areas of the brain were damaged and what their recovery prognosis was. Residents and doctors sometimes cornered her in the elevator to get her input on complicated cases.
Following their years in Maryland, the couple also worked at the universities of Hamburg and Vienna before retiring to Durham, where they gifted Harold’s extensive collection of manuscripts and books to Duke University.
In retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Jantz divided their time between their home in Durham and vacation homes on Topsail Island off the North Carolina coast, and Wilmington, VT.
Mrs. Jantz’s beloved husband of 52 years predeceased her in 1987.
Mrs. Jantz was a keen intellect and a woman of diverse interests that included extensive European travel, fine dining, classical music appreciation, gardening, antiquing, collecting cookbooks, reading about current events, and especially investing in the stock market.
An executive vice president of Duke once described her as “an elegant academic,” and to the end of her life conversations with her were interesting, stimulating, and informative.
Duke University Library will honor her memory with a private reception at a later date, and Mrs. Jantz will be interred in Riverview Cemetery, in Wilmington, VT.
In lieu of flowers consider making a contribution in her honor to either of the following: The Eleanore and Harold Jantz Graduate Student Internships Fund (check made out to “Duke University” and sent to Tom Hadzor, Jantz Internship Fund, Duke University Libraries, Box 90197, Durham, NC 27708) or to The Jantz Scholarship (check made out to “Oberlin College” and sent to Oberlin College, 50 West Lorain Street, Bosworth Hall #203, Oberlin, OH 44074).