Clyde Eugene Jantze

Clyde Eugene Jantze, son of Mary (Riley) Jantze and Clarence Jantze, passed away Sunday afternoon, March 17, 2013 at age 85. Clyde was unique; he balanced being a wonderful father with his role as one of the packaging industry’s most highly respected experts. As the Manager of Machine Design for Continental Can Company, Clyde and his engineering team revolutionized the packaging industry. His 2000 Series of closing machines, the equipment that puts the lids on cans, broke the packaging industry’s version of the sound barrier. At 2,200 cans per minute these machines quadrupled the throughput of the fastest machines at that time. The 2000 Series machines remain the fastest closers in the business and are still operating around the world. Chances are that the can of vegetables or six pack of beer or soda you bought at the store were packaged by a machine Clyde designed or worked on over the course of his career.

Clyde did not follow a traditional path on his way to leading Continental Can’s machine design group. Although born in the 20th century, Clyde’s childhood more closely resembled life in the 1800’s. He began life in a logging camp where it might have ended, had a forest fire not suddenly changed direction. Soon after his father Clarence moved the family to a farm near Salem, Oregon. Clyde plowed with horses and could recall when FDR’s Rural Electrification Administration brought power to the farm, an event that would make him a lifelong Democrat.

While recovering from broken ribs suffered in a threshing machine accident, Clyde decided that life on the farm held little promise. Seeking work elsewhere, he was hired at a cannery in Salem which began a career that spanned seventy years. In between shifts at the cannery Clyde found time to attend high school, where he met his future wife, JoAnn Tweedie. From this point on Clyde and JoAnn were a team, first in Salem, then in California, Chicago and South Carolina where they retired. On Sept. 20, 1947, Clyde and JoAnn were married in Reno, Nevada. They would be partners for 65 wonderful years until the death of JoAnn in September, 2012.

Living in Oakland, Hayward and San Leandro, California Clyde traveled up and down the west coast as a serviceman for Continental Can Company. Not a degreed engineer, Clyde’s vast amount of field experience was an advantage he would later utilize as a designer and then manager of the Equipment Design Group. After several years on the road, he was offered an opportunity to transfer to the design group at Continental’s Tech Center in Chicago, where he relocated with JoAnn and son Mark. The rest as they say is history.

Clyde was not just a technical expert in the food, beer and beverage packaging industry. He was a mentor also, taking time to share his insights with others and help them in their careers. Retiring from Continental Can in 1985, Clyde began a consulting career that kept him busy for the rest of his life. Between trouble shooting trips to canneries and breweries, he shared what he knew with hundreds of people in training sessions held across the country. His 70 plus years in the food and beverage industry were recognized by the “Canmaker’s” International Magazine in April, 2012.

Next to his family and work, Clyde loved golf and playing bridge. He was an active member of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Maywood, Illinois where he served as a deacon and elder. Several summers Clyde was the adult leader on camping expeditions to Camp Mach Kin O Siew with his son Mark and Boy Scout Troop 45 in Riverside, Illinois. Mach was the only place where work could not find him; he always looked forward to these outings. After retiring, he and JoAnn moved to Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, where they played golf and traveled around the world. Clyde and JoAnn acquired the names “Beach Papa” and “Beach Momma” from their grandchildren Jordana and Karl. The wonderful vacations Clyde and JoAnn planned for them at Litchfield and later the bridge games with Clyde created memories all of us will cherish forever. After 26 years in South Carolina, Clyde and JoAnn moved to the Beacon Hill Retirement Community in Lombard, Illinois in 2011.

Clyde was very proud of his grandchildren, Jordana and Karl, son Mark and daughter-in-law Kirsten. He was forever grateful to Kirsten for the time and effort she spent recreating a bit of Litchfield for them in their unit at Beacon Hill. The look on Clyde’s face when he and JoAnn entered their apartment for the first time is something we will never forget. Professionally Clyde was admired by most and respected by all. Being a member of his family was a blessing, knowing him was a privilege. Dad, we are as proud of you as you are of us. Beach Papa, you will stay in our hearts forever, we love you.

Arrangements handled by Hitzeman Funeral Home Ltd., Brookfield. Information 708-485-2000 or

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  1. Sue Horsley condolence:

    Clyde will be remembered and missed. He added value to our operation by assisting in training our team members and ensuring he took the time to explain what was needed. We all have much respect for Clyde not only as a trainer and for his knowledge of our seaming equipment, but also as a person of integrity. It was a pleasure and an honor to know Clyde. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. Rex Mullis condolence:

    Clyde, you became a big part of my life @ Maxwell House learning how to make a tight can during your consulting visits. You taught me so much and remedied problems on my machines that nobody could. I am so glad my family was able to share a meal together with you and JoAnn when I had you in training my mechanics. It was a memorable time because you wore the medal we fabricated for you to the Olive Garden (“the seam-myster award”). I just found out from someone what happened and now I know why you have not returned emails or calls in the last year…… You will always be remembered in my heart. See you on the other side my friend!!! Rex

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