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Wilton Lanning, Jr
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Obituary for Wilton Lanning, Jr

Wilton Lanning, Jr., 81, passed away January 10, 2018, with his family by his side. A Memorial Service will be held 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 14, at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church with Reverend Ron Durham and Reverend Josh Vaughan officiating. A private burial service will be held Saturday, January 13. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, January 13, at the Dr Pepper Museum.
Wilton was born June 12, 1936, in Waco, the son of Wilton, Sr., and Ethel Lanning. He graduated from Waco High School and Baylor University, where he met his wife of 57 years, LaNell “Lee” Lanning. Wilton loved “all things Waco” and his Dr Pepper. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and telling others about the history of Waco. He also loved to hunt, making many memories with his family and friends at the deer lease.
Wilton was well-known as the former president & CEO of Waco’s oldest business, Tom Padgitt, Inc., serving in this capacity for 40 years. He was also highly involved in Waco community development. He served as the Executive Director of the Waco Business League, was the 70th President of the Rotary Club of Waco, the Chairman of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Baylor-Waco Foundation. Wilton served on several boards including the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, the Waco Industrial Foundation, and the Waco Mammoth Foundation. He was also the co-founder and first president of the Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute.
During his career, Wilton was recognized for his dedication to the Waco community, receiving awards such as the James H. Lockwood Masonic Lodge 1343, A.F. & A.M. “Community Builder Award,” the National Philanthropy, “Lifetime Achievement Award”, and the Waco Business League “Lifetime Achievement Award.” He was an Eagle Scout, and the Boy Scouts of America honored him with the “Silver Eagle Award.”
Wilton is preceded in death by his sister, Elizabeth Kelly; and his parents, Wilton Sr. and Ethel Lanning.
He is survived by his wife, Lee Lanning; son, Bill Lanning and wife, Jessica, and grandchildren, Mary, Lili, Karina and Lorena Castillo; son, Robert Lanning and wife, Beth, and grandchildren Caitlin and Austin Lanning; and many other family and friends.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Providence Hospital for their compassionate care and support.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks you to donate to your favorite charity or to Baylor University, Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, or the Dr. Pepper Museum. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Wilton Lanning, Jr, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Dr Pepper Museum

300 S 5th St
Waco, TX 76701





2:00 PM
Columbus Avenue Baptist Church

1300 Columbus Avenue
Waco, TX 76701


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