Verle E. Lanier, Foreign Service officer

September 3, 2012

Verle E. Lanier, 76, a Foreign Service officer who worked for the Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service for 26 years and later served as associate director for volunteer support for the Peace Corps, died Aug. 17 at his home in Potomac.

He had pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Tonie Lanier.

From 1968 to 1994, during his career with the Foreign Agricultural Service, Mr. Lanier was an agricultural counselor at U.S. embassies in countries including Indonesia, Egypt, the Philippines, the Netherlands and what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He previously was an administrator at the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency and in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

Mr. Lanier worked with the Peace Corps from 2005 to 2007. As a young man, he joined the International Voluntary Services, a private humanitarian organization, as an agricultural technician. He developed a rice-seed multiplication and water distribution program in Vietnam and was featured in a photograph in Life magazine in 1961.

Verle Edwin Lanier was born in Billings, Mont., and was a 1958 agricultural economics graduate of Montana State University at Bozeman.

He was a past president of the International Four-H Youth Exchange.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Tonie Kudret Lanier of Potomac; and a sister.

— Megan McDonough