ERWIN — Mr. Billy Worth Lanier, 87, passed away Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born on Sept. 27, 1934, in Harnett County to the late Franklin Worth and Virginia Mitchell Lanier. He was preceded in death by his son, Ralph Lanier.
A life-long resident of Harnett County, Bill graduated from Campbell College before attending the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill. Graduating from UNC in 1957 as a member of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society, Bill began a 45-year career that would last until his retirement as a full-time pharmacist in 2002. His dedication to his profession and love of his customers kept Bill working for another decade as a part-time employee at local pharmacies, finally retiring totally in 2012.
Bill was very committed to his community and demonstrated this commitment by serving with numerous organizations over the years including the Harnett County Board of Health, the Erwin Lions Club, the Erwin School Board Advisory Committee, and the American Red Cross.
Bill’s life was centered around his faith. A member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church since the early 1960s, he served in numerous positions in the church and was a member of the church vestry longer than any member in the history of St. Stephen’s, serving for 36 years over five decades. Bill served his church as senior warden several times as well as being church treasurer, a leader of the men’s fellowship group, and longtime acolyte warden over the years.
Bill loved spending time with his five grandsons and shared his love of sports with them, often attending Durham Bulls baseball games as a family. He was also a dedicated fan of the UNC Tar Heels, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the New York Yankees, and he was a proud alumnus at Campbell sporting events as long as he was able to attend. Bill also loved the outdoors, playing golf and working in the yard when he could and enjoying time on the deck with family and friends.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Erwin by the Rev. Ray Hanna and the Rev. Eric Grubb.
Mr. Lanier is survived by his wife, Diane Lanier; son, Michael Lanier (Kimberly); daughter, Sarah Wells (Michael); grandchildren, Kenan Lanier (Mercedes), Hayden Lanier (Allison), Jacob Wells (Taylor), Thomas Wells (Katie), and Paul Wells; brother, Frank Lanier (Kay); and sister, Virginia Powers.
A visitation will be held Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Skinner & Smith Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 201 Denim Drive, Erwin, NC 28339; or to a favorite charity.
Arrangements are by Skinner & Smith Funeral Home in Dunn.