Charles Stuart Lanier, 72, of Swansboro, died Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at Duke Regional Medical Center in Durham.
A celebration of life service was Monday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Jacksonville with the Rev. Steve Smith officiating. Interment was Tuesday at East Duplin Memorial Gardens in Beulaville.
He was born May 5, 1947, to Sybil and District and Superior Court Judge Russell Lanier Sr. Charlie grew up in Beulaville and was a member of Beulaville Presbyterian Church. He attended Beulaville Elementary School and graduated from East Duplin High School in 1965.
While attending East Duplin, Charlie was a four- letterman athlete, excelling and lettering in all sports. He was a key player on the only boys basketball team from East Duplin to advance to the North Carolina High School State Finals. He was recognized for his outstanding ability by being named to the All State Basketball Team. He also played in the east-west basketball game the same year. Charlie was inducted into the East Duplin High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
After high school, Charlie attended East Carolina University, where he continued his basketball career. Charlie graduated in 1969 and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. After graduation from East Carolina, following the family tradition of law, he entered Wake Forest School of Law. While at Wake Forest, he earned the very high, distinctive honor of being the editor of the Law Review.
After graduation from Wake Forest, Charlie began practicing law in Greenville, S.C., at the firm of Thompson, Deacon & Ogletree. He always enjoyed boasting that he received the highest salary of any of his law classmates that year. While in Greenville, he enjoyed playing golf and won the Poinsett Club Championship and several other golf championships as a member of the Greenville Country Club.
In 1977, Charlie returned to eastern North Carolina and worked with Tommy Gresham. He later opened his own practice in Jacksonville. In 1980, he expanded the firm to include his first partner, Keith Fountain. It has now grown to include nine attorneys and is known as Lanier, Fountain, Ceruzzi and Sabbah, Attorneys at Law.
While in Jacksonville, Charlie continued his love of service and athletics and was recognized for his many achievements and contributions. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and served as president of the club in 1980, as well as being a member of the Jacksonville Country Club. He also received awards from the New Hanover Pro Bono Society. Some of his fondest fishing memories were winning the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in 1986, with a 608-pound fish, and the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament in 1983, with a catch of 43 pounds. He loved East Carolina University and was an avid member of the Pirates Club for many years.
Charlie enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest and was a wonderful presence in any setting. He had a unique ability to relate to people from all walks of life and he used his charisma and abilities to benefit each individual. His distinctive laugh and sense of humor always warmed the hearts of family and friends. There will not be a Charlie laugh again. Everyone will always remember his funny stories and be comforted in knowing his life was one well lived, especially as a country lawyer, as he always called himself.
“The touchstone of his family left us to enter his heavenly home.”
Charlie leaves behind a loving wife and four sons. Carol Page Lanier and Charlie were married for 38 years. Charles “Chip” Stuart Lanier Jr. and wife Dianna live in Raleigh with their children, Robert, Jackson and Sam Teague. Todd Randolph Lanier and wife Deanna live in Kirkland, Wash. They have two sons, Patton and Grant. Stuart Page Lanier resides in Swansboro. James Andrew Lanier and wife Caroline live in Jacksonville with their son, Porter.
Charlie was preceded in death by his brother, Russell J. Lanier Jr., district and superior court judge.
Arrangements are by Jones Funeral Home of Jacksonville. Online condolences may be made at wwwjonesfh.org.