H. Lanier Richey

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A memorial service for H. Lanier Richey will be held Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler with Dr. Pat Day and the Rev. Doug Baker officiating.

Lanier Richey passed away peacefully May 13, 2012, after a long, hard-fought battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was born June 17, 1934, in Shreveport, La., to Thomas Lanier and Mary Rooker Richey.

Lanier grew up in his beloved hometown of Atlanta, Texas, where he loved playing with his cousins and spending many summers at his family's lake house on Caddo Lake. After graduation from Atlanta High School, he attended Texas A&M University for one year and received his BBA from the University of North Texas where he was a member and treasurer of Kappa Sigma fraternity. It was at North Texas where he met Marilyn, his wife of 55 years. He was a senior, and she was an incoming freshman. He saw her across the room at a get-acquainted party and immediately got a friend to introduce them. They married 11 months later. He was so very proud of the three sons who were born into this marriage and his eight grandchildren.

Upon graduation from college, Lanier went to work for Tennessee Oil and Gas, then later worked for IBM and became a leading salesman for the company. He left that position to begin many years of organizing and owning his own companies, which included automobile agencies, oil and gas producing companies, a trucking company, cattle and ranching enterprises, real estate development, and bringing the first professional Arena Football League team, the Dallas Texans, to the state of Texas.

Lanier had an adventuresome spirit and loved the outdoors and wildlife. Some of his favorite times were spent at his West Texas ranch in Hudspeth County as well as working on his cattle ranch near Grand Saline. He loved collecting antique guns, contemporary art, and piloting his planes.

Many times throughout his life, Lanier anonymously gave to someone in need. Especially at Christmas time he enjoyed seeing that others had a wonderful season. Lanier loved the Lord and was diligent in his prayer life. As a young boy he attended Sunday school without missing for seven years.

Lanier was a former director of First National Bank of Atlanta, First National Bank of Grand Saline, Heritage National Bank of Tyler, and Allied Bank of Dallas. He was a former administrative board member of Marvin United Methodist Church and a member of Pairs and Parents Sunday School Class. He was a member of the Executive Board of Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. In 1969, he was selected by the Chamber of Commerce as Man of the Year in Grand Saline, and in 2003 he received the Zelma Claybon Humanitarian Award from Texas College in Tyler. In 2006 the Atlanta Independent School District recognized Lanier as an inaugural member of the district's Outstanding Alumni. Lanier served as director of the Texas Automobile Dealers' Association and as a director of the East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind. Ford Motor Co. awarded Lanier the Distinguished Achievement Award, and he also served on the Railroad Commission of Texas' Centennial Committee.

Lanier's great-grandfather, William David Lanier, was a member of the 34th Texas House of Representatives; he served two terms in 1915.

His parents and only sister, Diane, preceded him in death.

Lanier is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn, and their three sons, Robert Lanier and wife Dabney; Michael Adam and wife Lillian; Trice Ragon and wife Courtney; and eight grandchildren, Will, Molly, Hudson, Susan Lee, Paden, Adam, Leif and Marilyn Mae. Lanier is also survived by his brother-in-law, Bob Lee and wife Betty, and several cousins.

The family wishes to thank Lanier's devoted and wonderful caregivers, Linda "Jim" Williams, Shcrenna Bircher, Cynthia Johnson and Pearlie Rossum. They are dearly loved and appreciated.

Following the service, friends are invited to join the family for a reception in the Pirtle Hall at the church.

If desired, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County, 211 Winchester Drive, Tyler, 75701; Marvin United Methodist Church, 300 W. Erwin St., Tyler, 75702; or a .

Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on May 15, 2012
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