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 06, 2017
    Linda D Brown says:
    LouAnn. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. He was quite a fighter having battled this dreaded disease. I know beyond a doubt that he received the best physical treatment and the most support and love from his daughter and other family members. Keeping you in my prayers for peace and comfort during this time.

  • July 06, 2017
    Shannon Deal lit a candle:
    Lit since July 6, 2017 at 7:48:05 AM

  • July 06, 2017
    Danny and Charlie Ducker says:
    What a giant of a man! He is the reason we live in the Riverbend community. We are so fortunate to be living in one of the many beautiful houses he built. His perfection and attention to detail is all around us. He was and always will be the face of Riverbend. We enjoyed every minute of the time we spent with Joe. He was always smiling and full of wit. What an example of strong will and love of life! We never heard him complain and he never quit no matter what his circumstances. He will forever remain on our hearts! Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with LouAnn, Rick and all of his family and friends. May God bless you all!

  • July 05, 2017
    Angela Bullard says:
    He was an amazing man who made the most of his precious life. I am glad to have met him and grateful for all the kindnesses he showed my family.

  • July 04, 2017
    Susan Willis says:
    LouAnn, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.