“He was the foundation of Main Street. I went to him for advice and vision. He had such a heart for it,” said Aberdeen Main Street Director Ann Tackett. “He was the pulse of Aberdeen. If you wanted to know anything about Aberdeen, he knew it.”

Anyone who frequented the family’s store could relate to his powerful voice, contagious laugh or way of telling it like it was. Affectionately known as Big Walter, Lann was known for informing customers if Lann Hardware didn’t have it, he could get it.

Lann’s great-grandfather co-founded Lann & Carter Hardware Co., in 1879, and it has remained a downtown fixture since.

During his graveside service at Odd Fellows Cemetery, Bro. David Harrell said between 900 and 1,000 people came through visitation at Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home, another local business bearing his family’s namesake.

“He was a role model to a lot of us. He showed us to do a lot of things,” said Kenny Tisdale, who said Lann was like his second father. “He was the type of person you mold your life to. With him, my daddy and Chris Provias, you just always expected them to be here.”

Tisdale’s father, Tizzy, and Lann were close through friendships, business dealings and the betterment of Aberdeen.

“That’s what they lived for – to make a better Aberdeen. Walter Jr. worked with my dad, Chris Provias and several others to get industry here,” said Tisdale, who added a little known fact about Lann and how he would go to Personal Place after church on Sundays to lead another church service.

“He was a big Teddy bear if you really knew him. He had a big heart,” Tisdale said. “If you did good, he’d tell you. I you did bad, he’d tell you. I never left him any time without getting a hug around my neck. He had a big heart.”