William K. (Bill) Lanier Jr., 86, passed away peacefully in Palm Bay, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 9, due to complications from sepsis. 

Born and raised in Warrenton, Bill was born on Aug. 28, 1934. He was the oldest son of William R. Lanier, Sr. and Eva Edwards Lanier. 

Bill was a member of Warrenton Presbyterian Church. He attended John Graham High School, but completed his senior year at Oak Ridge Military Academy, where he graduated in 1952. Bill then attended Hampden Sydney College, graduating in 1956 with a BA in English.

Immediately after college, Bill was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was then deployed to Korea, where he proudly and honorably served from 1956 to 1958.  

After his military service, Bill joined his father’s business, Lanier Hardware. Bill, his father, and his younger brother, Sydney, operated the hardware store for many years. Bill was an active bicycling advocate and member of the League of American Wheelmen, serving as the North Carolina state director in 1976 and 1977. In 1980, he was presented with a Bicycling Presidential Sport Award Patch for his achievements and commitment to physical fitness and sports.   

After Bill’s father passed in 1984, he continued operating Lanier Hardware Store until Dec. 17, 1999. In 2015, Bill moved to Florida and enjoyed the sunshine until his final days.

He was preceded by his father, William R. Lanier Sr.; his mother, Eva Edwards Lanier; brother, Sydney Lanier; and his German Shepherd, Chico.

Bill loved his family deeply and is survived by his daughter, Leslie Prescott; son, William Andrew Lanier; granddaughters, Amanda Lockhart, Haley Prescott and Amelia Lanier; great-granddaughter, Whitney Lockhart; great-grandson, Tyler Lockhart; and his best friend, Ariel Rosa.