AUGUSTA, Ga. - Thomas Jefferson Lanier, Jr. (Tom / Billy) husband, father, son, brother, friend and beloved one passed away on Sunday evening, November 11th, 2012. He was born on November 12th, 1930 and was 81 years old at the time of his passing. Tom was a native of Jackson County, Florida and grew up on a farm near the town of Sneads in that county. He was a 1948 graduate of Sneads High School. Shortly after, he entered Florida State University taking basic courses that would later prepare him for a science degree at the University of Florida. He transferred to the University of Florida in September, 1950, and graduated with an Agriculture Degree in 1953. After serving two years in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, he was employed 31 years with the U. S. Department of Agriculture. His USDA agency's mission was to protect America from foreign diseases and pathogens. His employment took him to Memphis, Tennessee, where he met Mildred Ann Dunevant, who later became his beloved wife. They later lived in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; Macon, Georgia; Wilmington, North Carolina; and the last 5 years of his employment were spent in Washington D. C. After retiring in 1985, he and Ann moved to Augusta in 1987. He and Ann have been members of the First Baptist Church of Augusta since 1988. Tom was a member of the Men's McKay-Evans Bible Class at First Baptist He loved sports. He played high school basketball and baseball. Until recent years, he was an avid quail hunter with his own bird dogs. He was a devoted Florida Gator football fan. His favorite pastimes after retiring were playing tennis, traveling, and spending time with family and grandkids. Most of all, he was a wonderful and devoted family man his whole life. Survivors include Ann, his wife of fifty-three years; his daughter, Laurie Lanier and her husband, Evan Post, and his daughter Kay Odell and her husband, David Odell. His grandchildren are Tucker Rogers, Sophia Post, Grace Odell, and Hattie Odell. Also surviving are sisters Eugenia Howell, and Carolyn Harding, and many other loved ones. The family will receive guests at visitation at the First Baptist Church of Augusta located at 3500 Walton Way in Augusta, GA on Saturday, November 17th at 10:00 a.m. A service will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Church s Storey Chapel the same day, with a reception immediately following. Dr. Greg DeLoach will officiate. On Monday, November 19th, a graveside memorial service will be held at Dykes Cemetery in Sneads, Florida, at 11:00 a.m. where his remains will be placed in the Lanier Family plot. A visitation/ reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to First Baptist Church, 3500 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30909.
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Published in The Augusta Chronicle on Nov. 15, 2012