Kerry Lynn Lanier, 50, of Lake Placid, Florida, went to Heaven on Nov. 1, 2020.
She was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, on Nov. 24, 1969, and lived there with her parents, Mary and Jerry Meisenheimer, until she was 9. In 1978, the family moved to Coral Springs, Florida, where she graduated from Coral Springs High School. She went on to college at St. Leo’s University in San Antonio, Florida, and earned her bachelor’s in criminal justice.
In 1988, the Lake Placid Police Department sponsored her in the police academy, where she was recruited to become an agent for the Division of Alcohol and Tabaco, and was stationed in Clearwater, Florida.
From there she became a road deputy for four years with the Glades County Sheriff’s Office and resided in Buckhead Ridge, Florida. As a deputy, she often interacted on police calls with her dad, who was a police officer on the Seminole Tribe Brighton Indian reservation close by.
Kerry started a Police Explorers Troop while at the sheriff’s department. That’s when she turned her attention to working with youth. At the same time, she met Jonathan Lanier of Okeechobee, who was a correctional officer there. They married, and built a home in Loxahatchee. Florida.
There she became a police officer with the Palm Beach School Board Police. She was assigned to Wellington Middle School, where she worked for over 10 years, handling cases and serving as a school resource officer.
After their two children, Garrett and Aubrey, were born, they decided to move closer to family in Lake Placid. Her law enforcement career continued with employment at the Sebring Police Department and for many years as a reserve officer with the Lake Placid Police Department.
For a while, too, she was a social worker for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. When she got her teaching certificate, she taught at Lake Placid Middle School and became the Dean there. Meanwhile, she earned her master’s degree. Most recently, she took a position within the Highlands County School Board as a human resources development specialist over a multi-county school system network.
While her children were in middle and high school, she became involved in the FFA and 4-H programs. They raised goats and showed them every year at the county fair. Her love for goats continued after the kids went off to college. So, she began raising them herself as pets.
Her son Garrett recently enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and is on a cutter based in Boston. Her daughter Aubrey is in college at Gulf Coast University. Her husband "Jon" has been the service manager at Miller’s Central Air in Lake Placid for the past 15 years.
Another highlight of Kerry’s life was her involvement every Christmas morning for the past 10 years, helping Eddie Mae Henderson. That involved serving dinners to over 800 people within the Lake Placid community, plus handing out Christmas gifts and clothing to anyone in need. That project became a family tradition for her and her extended family.
In addition to her husband, Jon, and her children, Garrett and Aubrey, Kerry leaves behind her parents, Mary and Gerald Meisenheimer; sister, Darcy Jacobs (Chris); brothers, Jerry and Jeremy Meisenheimer, all of Lake Placid; Godmother, Marion Lentz of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; aunt, JoAnn Meisenheimer of Sunrise, Florida; uncles, Tom Meisenheimer (Patricia) of Lake Placid and David Mierzwinski (Carol) of New Berlin, Wisconsin; father-in-law, Larry Lanier; and sister-in-law, Amy Wilson (John) of Okeechobee.
She also leaves behind cousins, Theresa Sutter (Douglas) of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Timothy Meisenheimer of Sunrise, Florida, Michael Meisenheimer of Harvest, Alabama and Mathew Meisenheimer (Katie) of Gainesville, Wisconsin; nieces, Chelsea (Shayne) (Meisenheimer) Berry of Sebring, Florida, Emiley Meisenheimer of Lake Placid and Alissondra Jacobs of Lake Placid; nephews, Mason Jacobs of Lake Placid, Trent Wilson of Okeechobee, Florida, Rhett Wilson of Okeechobee, Florida and numerous other relatives and friends and co-workers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at St. James Catholic Church, 3300 Placid View Drive, Lake Placid, FL 33852 in Placid Lakes. A luncheon will follow at the Lake Placid Government Center, 1069 US 27 N., Lake Placid, FL 33852.
Scott Seawinds Funeral Home in Lake Placid, 863-465-4134, is assisting the family.