Ralph Lanning, who created his 8.5 acre ‘Lanning Garden’ just outside Republic, Missouri, passed away on December 19th and services for him will be held today in his hometown. He had a famous sign in his art environment that read, “If Heaven Is Half As Beautiful As Here On Earth I Don’t Want To Miss It”.
All three of the photos above are used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic and are by Frippy.
Lanning was born Aug. 22, 1916, in Greene County. He served in the Army during World War II and then worked in the construction of bridges and dams, including Stockton Dam, until his retirement.
Kahmann said Lanning’s job led to him creating sculptures out of cement.
“One job had a lot of concrete left over and he said, ‘Just dump it in my yard,’ ” Kahmann said.
Neither Kahmann nor Foster were certain what will happen to Lanning’s artwork. They said he was working a plan with Missouri State University to preserve his art somewhere, but Foster said that is “up in the air” now.
“I don’t know what will happen,” Foster added. “I’d personally like to see it preserved somewhere.”