Wendell E. Lane Jr.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 21:19

Longtime Alaskan Wendell E. Lane, Jr. died at his home in Anchorage on April 21, 2012. He was 80.

His wife Ann, family members and friends helped care for him together with Providence Hospice at the end of long-term complications of rheumatoid arthritis.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 7 at St. Elizabeth Seton Church on Huffman Road in Anchorage.

Mr. Lane was the eldest son of Wendell E. Lane Sr. and Lela (Seipp) Lane. He was born in Madison, South Dakota, and moved with his family to Wichita Falls, Texas during World War II when his father served in the US Navy, then returned to Custer, SD. He joined the South Dakota National Guard in his last year of high school and went on to study mineral engineering at South Dakota School of Mines until he was called to active military duty at age 19, during the Korean Conflict.

On discharge from the military, he returned to college in South Dakota, graduating with B.S. in Education after transferring to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he met and married Air Force veteran Rita Champagne, later homesteading in Chugiak.

Mr. Lane taught junior high and elementary school science and physical education (P.E.) in Alaska Territorial Schools at Elmendorf AFB and Tustamena in Kasilof, and continued to teach in Chugiak-Eagle River after statehood. He retired from the ASD only to begin working in Air Quality Control in the Municipality of Anchorage.

An early member of the 4-H program, as a boy Mr. Lane raised champion New Hampshire Reds, and goats. He was an advocate of and promoted healthy living as an Alaskan outdoor sportsman, and northern winter sports and hobbies throughout the Greater Anchorage Area Borough School District and local organizations in programs for gun safety, marksmanship, hiking, climbing, ice fishing, bicycling, kayaking, spelunking, birding, figure skating, wrestling, swimming, bicycling, basketball, football, track and field.

He was also a licensed surveyor and ham radio operator.

“An insatiable learner, he continued his studies in science, technology, history especially local and Alaska and the arts. In his later years, he and his wife Ann studied, and trained to provide Reiki healing using methods to obtain inner peace and harmony as an important way to continue living and learning,” his family said.

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by brother Robert Lane (wife Carolyn), and sister Sharon Benshoof (husband William, also deceased); and daughter, Sylvia Jean.

Mr. Lane is survived by his wife, Ann; sister, Carol Miner; daughters Catharine Nakajima (husband Kunio), Sr. Patricia Thomas Lane, Sr. Helen Rita Lane, Lela “Terry” Lane, and Susan Lane; sons, Thomas Lane (wife Beth Albarelli) and James Lane, Theron Flavin, Jeremy Flavin; close family friend Mary Sue Doehring; ex-wife Rita Lane; and grandchildren, James and Jon Nakajima, Keese and Sylvana Lane, Amanda Seal and Caitlyn Marie Lane.


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