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BEAULAVILLE -- Judge Russell J. Lanier, 80, died Sunday.

He was born in Duplin County and was the son of Jarvis Lanier and Lila Kennedy Lanier. He graduated from Beulaville High School in 1941 and enrolled at Wake Forest College. He left college to serve in World War II, enlisting in the Navy and serving the Mediterranean Theater of Combat. He returned to Wake Forest College in 1946 and received a bachelor of science degree in 1949 and his L.L.B. Degree in 1951. He was admitted to the practice of law in 1951 and continued the practice of law until 1968.

While practicing law, he was elected Mayor of Beulaville for two terms. In 1958, he was elected solicitor of Duplin County Court and was reelected to the position in 1960. In 1962, he was elected Judge of the Duplin Court, a position he held until 1968, at which time, he was elected District Court Judge for the Fourth Judicial District. In 1972, he was elected Judge of the Superior Court and served until 1977, when he retired.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sybil B. Lanier; two sons, Judge Russell J. Lanier Jr., and Charles S. Lanier, a practicing attorney in Jacksonville, N.C.; and seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Community Funeral Home in Beulaville, with visitation following at the graveside at East Duplin Memorial Gardens.

At other times the family will be at the home of Russell J. Lanier, Jr., 405 Turner Road, Beulaville.

Published in Obituaries on April 19, 2004 1:41 PM