Mr. Willie Joe Lanier, Sr., 84, of Kingsland passed away peacefully at his residence Saturday evening, January 1st, 2011.
Mr. Lanier was born January 10th, 1926 in Hortense, Ga. He is the son of Oren R. and Betty Elizabeth Blount Lanier. He was educated in Brantley County. At the age of 17, he married Darleen Popwell on September 17th, 1943 in Nahunta, Ga. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944 and served in the ETO during World War II with Patton’s Third Army. There he fought during the Battle of the Bulge, and the push across the Ruhr Valley. After the war, he helped repatriate European refugees back to their home countries. Upon returning from serving his country, he became an auto mechanic. His abilities with automobiles inspired him to open his own shop, Lanier’s Auto Service, which served Kingsland’s community for many years. He was a great a father, a provider, friend, soldier, businessman, master mechanic and sportsman that enjoyed the great outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing, and was an avid sports fan. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Kingsland and served the church as a deacon for many years. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Mr. Lanier is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Darleen F. Lanier of Kingsland; his children, Linda Lanier Sheffield, Cindy Lanier and Steve Lanier all of Kingsland, and Joey Lanier, Jr. of Eastman; his sister’s Betty Anne Skinner and Erma Hatsman of Jacksonville, Fl.; his grandchildren, Mason Sheffield, Todd, Jody and Chad Lanier, Craig Barlow, Ambre Swain Sara Theriault and Kala Lanier; his 15 great grandchildren, plus numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Calling hours for the Lanier family will be from 5 to 7 PM Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 at the funeral home.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 in the chapel of Kingsland First Baptist Church with Rev. Vernon Dillingham and Pastor John Jenkins presiding. Pallbearers will be Mason Sheffield, Todd, Jody and Chad Lanier, Craig Barlow and Billy Swain. Honorary pallbearers will be the Deacon of Kingsland First Baptist Church, Sara and Chris Theriault, Kala Lanier and Drew Gomanski. A committal service will follow at Lawnwood Cemetery in Kingsland with military honors.
January 10, 1926 – January 1, 2011