Birmingham, Alabama – It brings us great sorrow to inform you of the passing of our Branch President John Lanier. A man of impeccable character and dedication to historical preservation, it is difficult to comprehend this. Lanier was an instrumental co-organizer in the re-establishment of the Charles A. Brown-Birmingham Branch in recent years and a tireless advocate for the preservation of African American history and cultural resources. As the backbone of our branch, John Lanier’s passing is our loss, but heaven’s gain. Our thoughts and prayers have been with his family during this difficult time.

Final arrangements include: Public Viewing, Wednesday, March 2nd, Davenport & Harris Funeral Home, Noon-6pm. Burial, Thursday, March 3rd, Alabama National Cemetery, 12:30pm.

John L. Lanier, Jr., A Legacy of Service
President, Charles A. Brown-Birmingham Branch, ASALH

John Lanier was a native of Birmingham, AL. After finishing Ullman High School, he moved to Washington, DC, where he worked and attended The George Washington University earning his BS degree in Oceanography and later his MS Degree in the Technology of Management from The American University. During his professional federal service career, John was employed by several federal agencies including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Washington, DC until his retirement in January 2005. He completed additional graduate work. John is retired from the District of Columbia Air National Guard and United States Air Force. After retirement from federal and the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (SES) with more than 37 years of outstanding federal service, John and his wife, Betty relocated to Birmingham in December 2005 to help care for his late father.

John served faithfully as president of the re-established Charles A. Brown-Birmingham Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He was a member of the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, Inc., since 2007 and served on its Board of Directors in the position of Education Director and course instructor. He was also a Board member with the Shadow Lawn Cemetery Association. John, along with several school principals, local business and professional Black men, helped to organize the “Breakfast Club” and mentored Birmingham City elementary and middle school boys who attended the former Brunetta C. Hill and Ossie Ware Mitchell Schools. He helped coordinate and taught the Maps for Genealogists course at Samford University in the recent past. John was an active member of the Greater Titusville Civitan Club; Immediate Past Governor, Alabama Central District of Civitan; the Crestwood South Neighborhood Association; and he was a Trustee and assistant Sunday School Teacher at his Church, the First Baptist Church Graymont, which is located in the Smithfield Community of Birmingham. He and his wife Betty are the parents of Dr. Patreece Lanier Bullock, DVM (Charlotte, NC) and John III (Columbia, SC). John left a tremendous impact on the Birmingham community he loved, whose history and historical resources he worked tirelessly to preserve.