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Charles R. Lanier
October 29, 1949 ~ December 15, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old
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Charles R. "Rick" Lanier Jr., a cherished husband, father, grandfather, brother, and respected friend, passed away on December 15, 2023, in his hometown of Lakeland, Florida. Born on October 29, 1949, to the late Charles R. Lanier Sr. and Johnnie Maye (Chandler) Lanier, Rick's life was evidence of his humor, generosity, and passion for both his profession and his family.
Rick's journey began in the heart of Lakeland, where he was raised as a 'city boy' before discovering his love for the outdoors. His formative years were filled with the bustling energy of downtown, but it was his marriage to Susan, his devoted wife of 38 years, that made way for his transition to the serene beauty of what he called, "God's Country" where they built a life together. Rick's educational pursuits led him to Miami Dade College, where he earned a degree in Mortuary Science, laying the foundation for his lifelong career as a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
Professionally, Rick was known for his compassionate service and dedication to his community. He was a respected member of Bethel Baptist Church, a lifetime member of DeMolay, and served as the past president of the Polk County Funeral Directors Association. His work was not just a job, but a calling, as he provided comfort and care to countless families during their times of need.
Beyond his professional life, Rick was a proud Southern Baptist who found solace and joy in the simplicity of nature, and was often found on his tractor tending to his orange grove. His adventurous spirit led him to travel, with a particular fondness for Scotland, a country he fell in love with while visiting his daughter Allison.
Rick's quick wit and determination were matched only by his generous heart. He was the type of person who went after what he wanted and needed, always ready to lend a hand or share a laugh. His family fondly remembers his 'dad jokes', a source of light-heartedness and joy in their lives along with the occasional eye roll or groan.
He is survived by his loving wife, Susan; his daughter, Allison Page Fife, and her husband, Jeremiah; his grandchildren, Selah, Abigail, Ian, and David Fife; and his brother, Michael Lanier. Rick was predeceased by his parents, Charles R. Lanier Sr. and Johnnie Maye (Chandler) Lanier, and his sister, Cheryle (Lanier) Webb.
Rick's life was one of laughter, love, and unwavering commitment to his family and community. Those who knew him will remember a man who was funny, generous, and deeply passionate about everything he did. His legacy will live on in the hearts of his family, friends, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him. As we bid farewell to Charles R. "Rick" Lanier, we celebrate a life lived with purpose and a dearly loved and respected man. His spirit, characterized by his humor and kindness, will continue to inspire and guide us. Though he is no longer here, his legacy will remain a source of happiness, compassion, and generosity for generations.