James T. Lanier 1935 - 2010 James Thomas Lanier, aka "Sonny", 75, ascended to Heaven November 25, 2010. James was born August 31, 1935 in Oklahoma. He was the oldest of three children. Jim graduated from Bakersfield High school and then joined the Navy at 17. He married Laura Lee Elliott on January 9, 1959. Jim worked for the Post Office, The Bakersfield Sheriff's Department (10 years) and as a Bailiff for the Courthouse. He graduated from Laverne School of Law with a degree to become a Lawyer in 1971. He was President of Byrum, Kimball, Lanier, Carrick & Koontz until 1982. At this time he moved to Oildale where he was in private practice until retiring in 2005. He was active in the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, The Rifle Association, The Republican party and many other community clubs. His passion came later in life when he became a Born again Christian and volunteered with the Bill glass Ministries sharing God's love with prison inmates. James T. Lanier is survived by his three children, Dean Lanier, Debbie Emerson, Darla Phelps and five grandchildren, as well as his sister, Mozelle McMahan and his dearest friend, Mary Eddy Bussell. He was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Laura Lanier and his brother, Sam Lanier. His funeral will be held on Friday, Dec. 3rd, 10:30 a.m., at Greenlawn Cemetery, 3700 River Blvd. (Panorama). The graveside service will be immediately followed by a Celebration of Life at Grace Baptist Church, 2550 Jewetta Ave. Corner of Rosedale and Jewetta. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian on Dec. 1, 2010