Richard “Coach” Laney, age 85, of Nebo, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 following a period of declining health. A native of Hickory, Coach was born on March 28, 1934 to the late Rev. W. C. Laney and Ethel Parker Laney. He spent his entire career with the McDowell County School System as a teacher, coach and Athletic Director. Coach Laney proved to be a guiding moral compass for school system leadership and students alike. He was a strong role model to both men and women, motivating students and athletes to do their best in school, sports and life. His contribution to the school system cannot be over-estimated and is enduring. He was a member of the North Carolina Coaches Association and was distinguished as a men’s fast-pitch softball pitcher in the Southeastern U. S.
A member and former Deacon of First Baptist Church of Marion since 1977, he enjoyed traveling as well as attending and watching all types of sports. His first wife, of 27 years, Jean “Carolyn” Eckard Laney, and his second wife of almost 5 years, Renaldia Beatty Eutsler Laney, preceded him in death. Coach was loved by many and will be missed deeply by all who knew him.
Surviving are two children, Lisa Laney Miller (Bob), of Weddington, NC and Richard “Rick” Laney, Jr. (Gina), of Las Vegas, NV; a step-daughter, Kristi Eustler Wise (Mike), of Bakersville, NC; his brother, J. W. Laney (Joan Yarborough), of Asheville; and a granddaughter, Jeni Miller Benavides (Jesh), of Lexington, KY.
A Memorial Service will take place Monday, November 18, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Scott Hagaman and Rev. Dean Owenby officiating. The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church at 99 N. Main Street, Marion, NC 28752.
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