Joseph K. Lanham, formerly of Lander and Riverton, Wyoming died Monday, February 27, 2017 at Central Wyoming Hospice in Casper at age 92. His death was attributed to lymphoma and complications of cancer.
Joe was born in Cedartown, Georgia on August 19, 1924 to Judson Clemens and Freddie Bell Mobley Lanham. Joe graduated from Cedartown High School in 1942 lettering in football and track. He immediately joined the United States Navy and served on PT Boats in World War II. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1945 and began playing minor league professional baseball for a number of southern leagues before meeting his wife of 67 years, Kay Ellen Kranz in Billings, Montana at a Billings Mustang game in which Joe pitched an almost no-hit game. He retired from professional ball after getting offered major league status; during times when baseball could not support a wife and family. He moved with Kay to Lander in 1949 and worked for the family Gambles business before joining the police department in Lander. In 1965, Joe left the Lander Police Department to start his concrete contracting business and finished cement all over Wyoming, pouring basements, sidewalks and headstones. He retired from that business at age 83. Joe and Kay shuttled between Riverton and St. George, Utah for 11 years before moving to Casper in 2014. Joe was excited to begin farming at his Casper home at age 90.
Joe is survived by his wife, Kay; his son, Joseph (Charlotte) of Thibodeaux, LA; and his daughter, Dr. Lesley Travers (John) of Casper. He is survived by five grandchildren, Clayton Lanham-Reesman of Casper; Mathew Lanham-Reesman (Vicky Mel) of Augsburg, Germany; Rebecca Travers of Casper; and Jerry Travers (Wendy) of Casper and Aaron Hunter (Desiree) of Tallahassee, Florida. He is also survived by many great-grandchildren and the family dog, Magnolia.
He was preceded in death by his son, Steve Lanham, his grandson, Judson Lanham, and his siblings: Judson, Virgil, Fred, Patrick and Dorthea.
At Joe’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to support Central Wyoming Hospice or the Casper Humane Society in Joe’s name.
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