Mary Lanier of Watkinsville died on January 3, 2013, at Athens Regional Medical Center.
Ms. Lanier was born on April 10, 1917, in Metter, in the newly formed Candler County. She was the fourth of eight surviving children of Thomas Zebedee and Audrie Lanier Lanier. Ms. Lanier graduated from Metter High School and later received a business degree from the Georgia Alabama Business College in Macon. Her professional activities led her to homes in Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Atlanta; and Jacksonville, FL. During the latter portion of her working years, she was employed as an administrator with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1991, she retired in Athens, and lived independently until 2009, when she moved into an apartment in the home of her niece, Mary Harrell, in Watkinsville.
Ms. Lanier was known for her keen mind and exquisite sense of humor. She was extremely interested in politics, travel, and the arts, and close communications with her many friends and family members. She also was active in local bridge groups. Ms. Lanier never married and treasured her independence. She was constantly amused by her own longevity and life experiences, and was optimistic about her future. When she was informed of plans to celebrate her 95th birthday, she attempted to delay the celebration, telling her niece, “This is a lot of fuss for a 95th birthday; why don’t we wait until my 100th and then throw a party.” The family members won out, and on April 14, 2012, dozens of family members and friends from throughout Georgia and adjoining states gathered in Watkinsville to celebrate this unique individual.
True to her style, Ms. Lanier remained active and alert until hours before her death of an acute cardiac event.
Ms. Lanier was predeceased by her parents; three sisters, Mattie L. Lanier and Maggie L. Spivey of Metter, and Myrtice L. Lanier of Alma and Marietta; and a brother Thomas Zebedee (T.Z.) Lanier, Jr., of Athens. She is survived by two sisters, Margie L. Brown of Baxley, Marie L. Kemp of Savannah; a brother, William L. Lanier, Sr., of Metter and Quitman; three sisters-in-law, Edna F. Lanier of Athens, Jean S. Lanier of Quitman, and Dr. Nancy J. Lanier of St. Simons Island; her niece, Mary S. Harrell of Watkinsville; and a large family of nieces and nephews.
There was no immediate funeral; Ms. Lanier donated her body to the Medical College of Georgia. Instead, a memorial service is planned at a later date. Cards to the family can be sent to Mary Harrell, Watkinsville, and the family requests that any memorial remembrances be sent to the church or charity of your choosing.