Harold James Lanier, died from a cardiac event in his hometown of Ogden on Dec. 29th. He was born Sep. 27, 1945 the second child of hard-working parents, Doris and James (known as Sam) Lanier. The family of six children lived in Weber, Davis and Morgan counties. Working in the garden, raising animals, hunting and fishing were essential contributions for all family members to put food on the table.
An important teacher encouraged his artistic side, mentored him and ensured he graduated from Morgan High School. He joined the Air Force during the Vietnam war era but was called home early when his father was tragically killed while working on the construction of I-15.
He married Janet Hayes Shelton and had the treasured blessing of his two sons from that union. They later divorced. He married his long-time partner, Pam Harrison, in 1975.
Harold worked a decade at Thiokol. He completed his career at Hill AFB, retiring in 2010. He was an Aircraft Mechanic until he moved up to the third floor as a Cyber Planner during the last several years.
Harold’s deep passions were always for the wilderness and outdoor activities, his dogs and other critters. He joined an archery club and achieved perfect aim at his targets. He preferred black powder hunting with a gun he built himself. He hunted and fished until his health deprived him of those cherished activities.
Pam was an expert planner of adventures and exploration of the Rocky Mountains and Utah’s endlessly inspiring and breath-taking desert canyon lands. They spent many summers backpacking, hiking, camping until eventually spoiling themselves by renting cabins or Bed & Breakfasts as they grew older and wanted a more comfortable place to land after exhausting all daylight in the wilderness. Their last long trip was to the Canadian Rockies but none could ever top the 24 day lifetime-dream-vacation from Seattle by rail through British Columbia, then by ships, catamarans, bus, helicopter, planes, more trains and car into and across Alaska until the turning back point on Kodiak Island.
Every month with good weather and open dirt roads was an irresistible beckoning to explore the amazing states of UT, CO, ID, WY and MT. Yellowstone remained a favorite destination, with dozens of other adventures to discover and explore less-well-known incredible gems of wilderness and geology, with every trip creating magnificent memories. Finding remote open BLM lands or undeveloped campsites was the primary destination goal during their younger years.
Harold almost always had at least one dog and, for several years, had a pack of five including three Great Danes. Dogs are pampered family members and vacation adventures were the best Dog Days. Imagine the sight of Harold and Pam on an eight mile backpacking trip into the remote Middle Fork of the Salmon river with two other equally ragtag couples and thirteen dogs. It was glorious. This love of dogs led to over a decade of volunteering every Tuesday year-round teaching the Puppy Class for the Golden Spike Dog Obedience Club. Many precious and lasting friendships came from that time with GSDOC.
People also came to recognize Pam and Harold from their lasting devotion to the Kap Bros Band. A few close couple friends decided to take some Western Swing dance lessons together and then go out every Friday and Saturday night for many years to practice dancing to the fabulous music of the KBB. Gigs in WY and MT or the tiny town of Garland did not deter them from following their favorite band.
A cherished network of nationwide friends unexpectedly emerged after Harold pre-ordered his 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck. The Ridgeline Owners Club forum became a daily chat party filled with enthusiastic new owners. Soon ROC truck meets were planned all around America with Pam and Harold hosting one over the Alpine Loop. Pam convinced Harold they must attend the ROC meets in Sedona which attracted owners from as far away as FL and MD. The beauty of Sedona and the fabulously fun organized outings fostered many tight friendships. ROC daughter, Veronique, was ‘adopted’ on the big caravan outing to the Grand Canyon. Some ROC friends remain cyber acquaintances but are no less intensely valued. The ROC forum conducted an incredible rescue mission when Pam’s niece, Veronica, had her car break down in Northern Mississippi while heading back to GA. The ROC forum was a gold mine full of good people who enriched Harold’s later years with online connections.
Special thanks for years of health care go out to Dr. Grace O’Brien, Dr. Christopher Parr and Jason Eaton, NP at the Wound Clinic.
Harold is survived by his wife Pam Harrison, Ogden; son Hayes (Régine Adams) Lanier, WA; brother Gene (Judie) Lanier, CO; sister Shirley (John) McClurg, WY; sister-in-law Kerie Lanier, UT; grandchildren Brandon Lanier and Brianna Lairson, WA; surrogate kids Jim (Jacque) Lee, UT and adopted ROC daughter Veronique Tonna, AZ; plus many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Opal and Frank Huntsman, parents Sam and Doris Lanier, sister Janice Fretz, brothers Harlan and Jim Lanier, and most painfully by his eldest son Travis Lanier.
Harold remained proudly a heathen and labeled himself atheist. He has been cremated and because he held a strong aversion for funerals there will be none. A Celebration of Life might be planned in the spring.
Harold was deeply concerned about the degradation of our planet and the ravages of climate change. A donation in his honor to the Center for Biological Diversity would please him. https://www.