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Don Lanier passes away after illness
Don Lanier b-w cam
Don Lanier - photo by Special
     Statesboro businessman Don Lanier passed away Monday morning after a brief and unexpected illness. He was 61.
     Lanier served as personnel director of ITT Grinnell in Statesboro for a number of years before leaving in 1997 to serve as executive director of the Industry Buying Group (IBG), a Statesboro-based health care network company that he helped form in 1995.
      A partner of Lanier's in IBG, Gene Neville, remembers him as being a kind man who was a committed family man.
      "Don was a good friend and business partner of mine," Neville said. "He was very dedicated to his family and especially loved his grandchildren. He will be missed."
    A lifelong resident of Bulloch County, Lanier attended Georgia Military College and Georgia Southern College. Lanier was actively involved in A Day for Southern and also fundraising at Ogeechee Technical College. He served on the board of East Georgia Regional Medical Center from 1995-2002. Lanier served as chairman of the Existing Industry Committee for the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of the United Way of Bulloch County.
    Visitation is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. today. The funeral will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.
    Lanier was the father of two sons and a daughter and grandfather to five.
    "He was a wonderful grandparent and father," said both Brett Lanier and Brad Lanier, his sons. 'Boy did he dote on them."
    Bruce Yawn went to Statesboro High with Don Lanier and he, too, noticed Lanier's love of his grandkids. "We'd talk about our grandkids and he would outbrag me every time."
    Brad Lanier also talked about the phone calls the family received the past few weeks about how his father helped people while he was at Grinnell.
    'We got calls from people who would tell us about our daddy found them work when they needed it and how much they appreciated that," Brad said. "I knew about some of it. But it was great to hear that."
    Longtime Statesboro businessman Inman Hodges, a cousin of Lanier's, echoed Gene Neville's comments.
    "The community will feel Don's loss," Hodges said. "He was a good man. A caring man."
    Brett and Brad Lanier also remembered their dad as one who loved hunting, fishing and golf. And he also loved Statesboro and Bulloch County, they said.
    "Daddy knew every inch of Bulloch County and he knew so many people," Brett Lanier said. "He never left his hometown."
    Lanier's illness came on suddenly, according to family. He died Monday morning at St. Joseph's Hospital in Savannah.
    "It's just a shock that he's gone," said Statesboro accountant Marshall Thigpen, who is partner in a firm with Lanier's younger brother, Russ. "We used to see him in the office once or twice a week. I'm stunned."
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