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For Over 40 Years

Obituaries & Services

The listings below represent the current and recent services entrusted to our care. If the service you are looking for is not shown, please enter the name of the deceased in the search box and click search.

View archived obituary listings in alphabetic order by clicking on the Archives button.


Flavia Sorbo

January 1, 1926 ~ January 22, 2021

Services will be held: Private

Faye Buffaloe Warren

December 25, 1940 ~ January 22, 2021

Services will be held: January 26, 2021

Wesley Max Denning, Jr.

June 14, 1951 ~ January 20, 2021

Services will be held: January 24, 2021

Harold Dean Linkous

July 23, 1939 ~ Jan. 20, 2021

Services will be held: January 24, 2021

Mary Dillon

February 19, 1933 ~ January 19, 2021

Services will be held: January 22, 2021

Rose Purta

January 30, 1933 ~ January 18, 2021

Services will be held: January 23, 2021

Jean Hathaway Hinton

Aug. 10, 1932 ~ January 19, 2021

Services will be held: January 22, 2021

Claire F. Small

June 26, 1937 ~ January 19, 2021

Services will be held:

Lanny Leamon Watkins

May 21, 1941 ~ January 8, 2021

Lanny Leamon Watkins, 79, went to be with the Lord on Friday, January 8, due to complicated health issues. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty Jo (Dupree); his children, Chip and Rose Watkins of Smithfield; Serene Watkins of Apex; and Rex and Cheryl Watkins of Garner. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren who were the absolute apples of his eye: Constance (Nick), C.J., Eli, Chelsea, Nicole (Andrew), Everette (Leah), Grant, Frederick, and Caroline; and his 4 great-granddaughters: Annabelle, Charlee, Blythe, and Rylee; brother Horace “Buddy” Watkins and wife Myrna. He was preceded in death by a brother Michael Moore. Lanny was a military veteran of both the Air Force and Army Reserves. He was stationed in Alaska during the Great Earthquake of 1964 and could tell riveting stories of that time down to the names of everyone involved with him there. He also served with distinction in the desert of Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm at the age of 49, making friends of a lifetime while there. Lanny also worked with the State of NC’s Dept. of Radiation Protection for more than 28 years as an inspector and supervisor. He grew up in Caraleigh, a small community of southeastern Raleigh. Even though he moved to Garner, he was still a member of Caraleigh Baptist Church until his death, serving and attending with those he had known since grade school and who were still considered close friends of his. Lanny’s legacy is one of unwavering devotion to family, friends, and country. If he ever met someone and learned their name, he never forgot it, whether it was a neighbor, a store employee, a health care worker, or just someone he met in line at the DMV. He had a generosity of spirit that made each person with whom he came into contact feel valued and special. He had the gift of making everyone feel as if they were his best friend. He lit up a room each time he entered it with his smile, his jokes, and his laughter. He has left a huge hole in many lives that can never be filled, but those who know Jesus can take comfort in knowing they will be able to reunite with him one day.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org


January 11, 2021

1-5 PM

Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, Garner
Lanny will lie in state Monday from 1-5 PM at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, Garner for those wishing to sign the guestbook and pay their respects. (No family will be present)


January 12, 2021

2:00 PM

Bryan-Lee Funeral Chapel, Garner
(Please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines)


  1. Pearce O’Kelley

    I’m truly sorry to hear this. I considered Lanny a dear friend. I have wonderful memories of our times at Radiation Conferences. Always had a smile on his face and joy I’m his heart. May the Good Lord bless his soul and comfort the family.

  2. Shirley Bell

    I have fond memories of Lanny. I worked for the NC Public Health Lab, so I had occasions to work with him, whenever the Radiation Protection group had emergency response drills. He was also at one time an active member of SEANC, and attended several conventions with us. He never met a stranger, and always had a welcoming smile. My sympathies go out to his spouse and children, whom he held dear.

  3. Dell and Carole Holloman

    So sorry to hear about Lanny. His jokes and laughter will definitely be missed. Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Dell and Carole Holloman

  4. Annette Inman

    So sorry to hear the passing of Lanny. Lanny was one of a kind. He was truly a great friend and one with a hugh heart and will be missed by all.Hugs and prayers ..

  5. Horace H. Watkins,Jr.

    I will miss my Big brother – Buddy Watkins

  6. Judy Coats

    Lanny will be greatly missed. I worked with him at Radiation Protection for 13 years. He coached my little girl in T-Ball. He was a good friend, even though we didn’t see one another very often. I know you are sitting at the feet of Jesus.with Jamie. God bless.

  7. Sonja, Ruth and Fayette

    Due to covid-19 we will be unable to attend viewing and services. We hope you understand. We loved Lanny and his entire family. Praying for all of you in this time.

  8. Pat Napowsa and family

    Lanny was one of the best. He could make you laugh. Lanny knew how to make a person feel special and as though they were the only one in the room when he communicated with people (a beautiful quality). He loved people.

  9. Jimmy Pearce

    I’m very sorry to hear of this, he was a good man. Sending prayers for the family, may he Rest in Peace🙏

  10. Penny Lou Watkins Matthews

    Lanny was greatly love by everyone who met and knew him. His personality was large and in charge and he could always make you laugh. Betty Jo you and you family are in my heart and my prayers. God called one of the best home. Love you so much and will miss you Lanny. Fly high darlin.

    With all my love,
    Penny Lou Watkins Matthews

  11. Richard Provencher

    I served with Lanny in the Garner Reserve School unit and distinctly remember him as a very energetic, can do NCO. While he could have remained home serving as an instructor, he eagerly volunteered to serve with another unit that was being deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Storm proving his love and dedication to his fellow reserve soldiers and to his country. Rest in peace Lanny!

  12. Pat Marshall

    My deepest sympathy to the family as you go through this difficult time. Lanny will certainly be missed!

  13. Larry Overby

    I lost a dear and precious friend with the passing of Lanny Watkins. More importantly, the world lost a man who loved God, family, country, friends, and associates with a passion. He lived his life as testimony to these beliefs.

    His friendship, sense of humor, and opinions on many topics will be sorely missed. I will never forget him grabbing me by the arm, shaking me and belly laughing as he told a funny story!

    Memories of the time we served together in the military are cherished. Master Sergeant Lanny Watkins made major contributions to the military and safety of our country through his expertise and instructing his fellow soldiers. He has faithfully stood his final formation on earth and now enjoys the fruits of his labor with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I salute him for his service.

    With love and affection I offer my deepest sympathies to his family. May God bless and comfort you in your grief.

    Larry Overby

  14. Jennifer T Jackson- Ncsecu

    Watkins Family

    I have known Lanny and Rex for a long time. Lanny never met a stranger, and when he would come in to the branch no matter what, he stopped to see me, ask about my kiddos and to give a hug
    He was a one of a kind , and he will be missed. Your family will be in my my prayers

  15. Lib and Joe Stroud

    May the Lord be with all the family and friends in passing of our dear friend lanny.

  16. Linda and Glenn Suggs

    Lanny was a very loyal friend and we will miss him.

  17. James & Teri Pearce

    Sorry to hear that will keep your family in my prayers

  18. Becky & Ronnie Strickland

    Where do we start. 43 years ago this wonderful man and his family welcomed us to this neighborhood. He coached my girls in T-ball and the rest is history…I thought we were the only neighborhood to have a basketball goal in the street which all the kids enjoyed…He served our country well and for that Lanny we thank you for all your service…..we will miss you and your smiling crazy self….RIP Lanny. Love Ronnie & Becky

  19. Karen L Ponder

    Praying for you all. I told Mom about Lanny. She told Dad. He is well now. My Dad was his pastor. His son became his pastor. Rhat is so awesome.

  20. J.. v. Ruthie liverman

    Sorry for your loss .

  21. Rhonda Nevill

    Dear Chip,
    John and I are sorry to hear about your Dad. We will lift you and your family up in prayer asking for a heart of peace and comfort. Rejoice in the memories and that will keep him close.
    Much Love, John and Rhonda Nevill

  22. Joe Phipps

    I will always remember the smile he had and the smile he gave.

  23. Ray Dunlap

    Lanny will be missed but not forgotten. He was dedicated to his tasks and I enjoyed working with him in the Army Reserves. He had a big smile and a great sense of humor that was appreciated by all. I am praying that God will give the family peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  24. Michael A Talbott

    May God Bless the Watkins family at this difficult time. I served in the same unit (3286th USAR School) with him in Garner. He did indeed light up the room when he entered and might I add he rarely missed an opportunity to give us all some moment of laughter during drill weekend. A True and Faithful Servant has been called Home.

  25. Chuck Price

    May the Lord shed his light on the family dering this difficult time. I send my love to you all. So meney special memories. May God be with you all.
    In prayer for you all. Chuck Price


    Betty Jo, I wanted to give you and your family my condolences in the loss of Lanny. He was a great person and a very good solider. He did a great job for the 171st Support Group in Desert Storm. I did not know him until he joined the 171st for the war but he became a good friend. It was always good to be around him. He was always upbeat and I really enjoyed his stories. He will really be missed by all that knew him. I am very sorry that I could not attend his service. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Frank Lancaster

  27. Connie Crumpler

    I feel heartbroken about the loss of my friend Lanny. He lit up the room when he entered it. He truly loved his Lord Jesus Christ, his wife Betty Jo, his family and his friends . He loved his church. No one else will ever replace h him in our hearts. My condolences and prayers 🙏 to his family . Rise and shi e, Lanny! I’ll see you again!

  28. Max Lager

    Had many good times.
    You will be missed.

  29. Mary Nemeth

    Was devastated when I heard of Laney’s passing. I am honored to say he was family. Such a wonderful person to be around. I love you Laney.

  30. Lewis Hitchcock

    Thank you for letting me know that Lanny past away. He will be missed. We got used to seeing him and Marshall Dillon walking around the neighborhood. He always greeted us like old friends and with a smile. I didn’t know that we were in Saudi Arabia at the same time. Our condolences to the family.

  31. Burgess Family

    We were fortunate to get to know Lanny and call him more than just our neighbor but our friend. We will sorely miss him and his warm welcomes that he was always eager to offer anytime we saw him out in the yard. Betty Jo and family, we send our love and prayers to you for comfort during this difficult time. With love, the Burgess family.

  32. Yun Ji and Xuefei Zhang

    Lanny is a great man. He is a good friend. We will miss him.

  33. Tony's Richardson

    Got the pleasure to work with Mr. Lanny. He was such a sweet and loving coworker. RIP till we meet again. Prayers lifted for the family

  34. Linda C Poole

    Rex, we are saddened to hear of the loss of your Dad. May the Lord give you the strength and the comfort you need during this time. God Bless You and your family.
    Larry and Linda Poole

  35. Lynn watkins

    Betty Jo Jerry just saw the email from Greg Rouser and we are so sorry we could not be there for. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  36. Sonja T Huff

    May he rest in peace until the Lord comes. Prayers for the family.

  37. Raymond & Sue Henley

    Sorry and regrets to a wonderful lady Betty.We three had many good and happy moments together. Lanny and I had some interesting and exciting times in our young days.I cannot ever remember not knowing Lanny. I remember when you came in his life. God’s blessing and love to a wonderful Lady.

  38. Steven M Annis

    To the Watkins Family,
    I was so sorry to hear of this news. I enjoyed serving with Lanny in the USAR, and enjoyed seeing him at our small reunion every year he could attend. I have been under quarantine and was unable to attend the visitation or funeral. Many prayers to the family during this difficult time. RIP Lanny!

  39. Mike Mobley

    Sorry to hear this. Lanny and I attended many training courses and radiation control meetings through the early years of our careers.

  40. Raymond Henley

    Betty Jo : So sorry about your honey.I can remember before you married the good times we had.I cannot remember when I did not know Lanny.In our younger years we spent many times together.God bless you and the family. Raymond & Sue.

  41. MSG Daniel (Wes) Matthews

    Lanny Watkins was a dear friend of mine during part of the 80’s and 90’s as instructors at the 3286th USAR School. He had a vast knowledge of soooo many things in many parts of life. He was a serious instructor that knew the soldiers we were training needed to be armed with best skills we could provide them with before going in to any enemy type situation.
    He was also THE funniest guy I have ever been around. He could tell junk that you believed from start to finish for Reaaalllll, then find out soon that it was all his crazy (BS)…
    Don’t know anyone who didn’t love and respect Lanny Watkins.
    Rest in peace my brother!!!

  42. Felix Fong

    I lost my best-friend-for-ever, I lost my big brother. In our friendship of 45 years, he taught me how to be an honest and happy person, how to be a good citizen. Lanny, I will miss you and will think about you for ever!

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