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.

Please share memories or condolences to the family by clicking the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

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


Purchase Flowers

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • July 05, 2017
    Lisa Gordon says:
    Riverbend will never be the same without Joe. He will be greatly missed.

  • July 05, 2017
    Robert Frantz says:
    I did some painting for Joe---he was a very spacial mam----May God be with Him----My friend.

  • July 05, 2017
    Danny and Carolyn says:
    Danny and I have you and the family in our prayers. Hold on to the memories. May God bless you in the days ahead and give you peace and comfort.

  • July 05, 2017
    Julie Blanchard Case lit a candle:
    Lit since July 5, 2017 at 7:14:13 AM

  • July 04, 2017
    Patti Cannan and Gary Darin Jewell says:
    A loving tribute for an extraordinary man. Our lives have been forever changed for knowing him. He brought so much joy into our lives with his candid stories and his genuine personality. He has done so much for so many and we are forever grateful for everything he has done for us. We will never stop missing him. He truly was one of a kind. Godspeed Joe!