Merita Elaine Fox Lanier, 89, of Statesville, N.C., passed away on January 3, 2020, at the Gordon Hospice House in Statesville. A native of Iredell County, she was the daughter of the late Clint Elmer Fox and Octa Lavada Cartner Fox.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, James Harold Lanier Sr.; a daughter, Belinda Kaye Lanier; a son, James Harold Lanier Jr.; two brothers, Charles and “Bud” Fox; and a sister, Duree Renegar.

She retired from JC Penney Distribution Center after 27 years of service. She was a member of Providence United Methodist Church and also was a member of the Tuesday Morning Coffee Club. She enjoyed camping, cake decorating, sewing, working in her flowers and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Lanier is survived by her daughters, Janice Waugh (Tommy Taylor) of Ellenboro, N.C., Trudy Waugh (Marvin) of Stony Point, N.C., and Libby Rumple (Steve) of Statesville, N.C.; two brothers, Robert Fox (Nancy) and Michael Fox (Missy), both of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and a sister, Becky Parks of Rocky Mount, N.C. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Dawn LeFaivre (John), Scott Rumple (Joy), John Waugh (Dawn), Jennifer Reid (Wesley), Matthew Waugh (Michelle), Jason Waugh (Adrienne), and Greg Waugh (Sara); 19 great-grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren; many special nieces and nephews, and a dear friend, Sandra Stewart of Statesville.

A funeral service celebrating the life of Mrs. Lanier will be held on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at Providence United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. with the Rev. David Bradley officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in the Church Cemetery. John Waugh, Matthew Waugh, Jason Waugh, Greg Waugh, Scott Rumple and Chuck Fox will serve as Pall Bearers.

Memorials may be made to the Providence United Methodist Church Building Fund, 1272 Old Mocksville Road, Statesville, NC 28625 or to Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County; 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at

Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is honored to be entrusted with the care of Mrs. Lanier and her family.

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