Joseph Henry Lanier

December 15, 1942 - July 1, 2017
Joseph Henry Lanier

Joseph Henry Lanier (“Joe”), 74, of Burgaw, North Carolina, died at his home on Saturday morning, July 1st, 2017 after a long illness with cancer. He was surrounded by his children, family and close friends.

Visitation will be held Saturday, July 8th,  at 2:00 PM prior to funeral services at Burgaw First Baptist Church, 100 E. Bridgers Street, Burgaw, North Carolina  28425. The funeral service will follow at 3:00 PM also at Burgaw First Baptist Church. Pastor Tom Canady of Burgaw First Baptist Church and Pastor John “Jay” Showers of Bradenton, Florida will be officiating. Burial will immediately follow the funeral at Riverview Memorial Park, 9332 US Highway 117 outside of Wallace.
Joe was born in Duplin County on December 15th, 1942. He was married to Linda Webb Lanier on December 15th, 1962. Joe worked as a builder from a very young age up until the last few weeks before his passing. He also worked in the uranium mines in Moab, Utah during the 1960’s. Joe loved working in his yard, growing lovely flowers, and building his beautiful picturesque homestead with ponds and bridges. He also loved taking his dogs Star and Goose to McDonalds to get coffee and biscuits. You could count on always seeing Star and Goose in the golf cart with Joe everywhere he went.
Joe Lanier was truly one of a kind and though he was small in stature was a giant in personality and courage. No challenge was ever too big. Even in his last hours you could see his hands moving in the motions of hammering nails. He always spoke his mind, never minced words and knew how to make a deal. He lived to work. Even until the very end all he wanted to do was get up at 4 AM, have a cup of coffee and go to work. He loved children and has mentored many in the art of building and construction. Joe was famous for building many houses among so many of his other projects. A year before he died, a couple from Raleigh came to the river and wanted to build a house. The couple was told that they needed to have Joe Lanier build their house but that would not be possible. A day or so later, Joe happened to ride by and stopped to introduce himself to this couple. They realized he was “the famous Joe Lanier”. Even though he had been battling cancer for a very long time, he confidently agreed to build their house. This was his last project on the Cape Fear River that he lived to see almost to completion. His son Rick will take on his father’s last project and complete this special home.
Joe is survived by his children: Rick Lanier (Betty Newkirk Lanier), Lou Ann Lanier Porter (Jimmy Porter), John “Jay” Showers, (Julie Showers); Grandchildren: Adam Lanier, Mark McAfoose, Amber, Kaleb, Mario, Miguel, Marilyn, Clayton, Yoannie, Olivia & Hunter Showers; Siblings: Carlo Lanier, Hardy Lanier (Frances) Clinton Lanier, Helen Sholar (Lonnie); Special friends: David & Ellen Harrison and Al Bright; and many other dearly beloved nieces, nephews, family, friends and close neighbors. He also leaves behind his beloved dogs, Star and Goose.
Joe is preceded in death by his wife Linda Webb, father Dunn Lanier, mother Catherine Batts Lanier, and brothers – David, Curtis and Vernice Lanier.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to:  KIDS MAKING IT woodworking program that focuses on woodworking mentoring programs for at-risk youth, whose missions is to reduce juvenile delinquency and help youth to stay in school, learn the skills of woodworking and the trades of building. http://kidsmakingit.org 501(c)(3) non-profit.

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 South 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • July 05, 2017
    Robin Jones says:
    Lou Ann you are blessed to have had such a loving and generous father. I am here for you to cry with and laugh with because we will never forget. Everywhere you look, you see him, in your home, his home, and so many others. I am blessed to have you as my friend and for you sharing your Dad with me. I will hold on to our last hug together in my heart forever.

  • August 08, 2017
    Cathy Jackson lit a candle:
    Lit since August 8, 2017 at 8:12:27 AM

  • July 08, 2017
    Barbara Brinklow says:
    Thinking of you Louann and Rick at this time...so sorry to hear about your dad. He was a good man. My sincere condolences.

  • July 07, 2017
    Maureen & Tony Spataro says:
    Lou Ann and Rick: We are keeping you and your families in our prayers at this sad time. Your Dad was a special man. He was full of character, love, and integrity, an awesome example for us all to follow. We met when he was cruising the neighborhood on his 4 wheeler 10 years ago. He stopped us strangers to see if he could help us with anything and suggested we consider buying a house in the neighborhood! He said that he could help us make our home and property beautiful and that he did! He had so much talent but most of all we loved him for his generosity, story-telling, and love of life. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten. May God Bless him and hold him in His arms.

  • July 06, 2017
    Chris and Terrie Metz says:
    We would like to express our deepest sympathies to Joe's family. We are so sorry for your loss. We met Joe as a customer at our wood shop in Wilmington and we immediately became friends. He truly was one of a kind and we will miss his visits to our shop. Joe, May you now rest peacefully in the arms of our heavenly father.