Kenneth H LaneJune 8, 1934 ~ May 7, 2017 (age 82)
Kenneth Harry Lane was born June 8th, 1934 in Lordship, Connecticut, which is a quaint little town on the Connecticut shore. His mother, Elizabeth Coronita Quinney Lane, was born in Staten Island, New York on May 31st, 1893, and his father, Leroy Elsworth Lane Senior, was born in Bridgeport Connecticut on February 7th, 1895. Ken had three older brothers- Leroy, Bob and Don. When Ken was three-years-old, he and his family moved to the North End of Springfield, where his father worked for the postal railroad. Ken grew up in a time and an era where communities, neighborhoods, and loyalty meant everything. Ken was very close to his brothers and made friends that became like brothers as well, such as Ronnie Ranko and Don McNaughton. They all grew up playing sports, with basketball being one of the big sports that they enjoyed together. Ken played basketball for the Boys Club, the YMCA, Sacred Heart and the United States Navy. Ken won many awards including League MVP Awards in three different leagues. He was known for his left hook shot as well as his passing and shooting capabilities. Ken actually excelled at most sports he played, as he always seemed able to display just the right balance of confidence, talent, and team mindedness. As an adult, golf became the sport he enjoyed the most and the post office golf league became his new community for friendship and comradery. Throughout the years, he enjoyed playing golf with his son, Stephen and his nephews, Bobby and Donny. Ken chose to join the Navy when he was seventeen along with his brother Don during the Korean War. His brothers Leroy and Bob were veterans of World War II and his father was a veteran of World War I. Ken’s decision to join the Navy was a reflection of his strongly held values of loyalty, family, commitment, and community. Ken was stationed in Trinidad where he was trained as a weatherman among other skills. Ken continued in that tradition as the family’s weatherman for many years to come keeping everyone posted wherever they lived or were traveling about what weather was coming their way! When Ken returned from the service he went to college for a while and then began working at the post office where he remained for 36 years. He walked a route through rain, sleet, snow and ice. Ken married the love of his life, Marcia B. Lane when he was 26 and she was 23. The two quickly moved into the role of parents within a year of being married. As his family grew, Ken steadfastly taught his children the values of giving, respect, loyalty, adventure, sportsmanship, and natural curiosity. He spent many an afternoon at playgrounds, playing sports, exploring woods, and swimming at lakes and in the ocean with his kids. His easy going manner allowed his kids to feel both safe and adventurous while exploring their world. Ken has always loved the ocean and the colder the water the better. Ken started going to Ogunquit, Maine with his friend Ronnie Ranko when he was eleven years old. This deep love for the ocean has been instilled in all of his kids as he and Marcia brought them up to Ogunquit every summer. Now his two granddaughters, Bella, 7 and Riley, 12 are following in this tradition and going to Ogunquit every year as well. Ken was a deeply spiritual man. He went to church twice a week for many years, but he saw God in the people he met and in the beauty of nature. He gave of his heart and his spirit wherever he went. He brought meals to hungry people on his mail route. He offered his sense of humor, easiness and a smile to everyone he met. He prayed for friends, family and those struggling around the world every day of his life without exception. Ken listened to people he was with and carried their troubles with him. He would offer them encouraging words, include them in his prayers, and asked them how things were going the next time he saw them. Ken’s humanity and humility expressed daily were values that people could readily see, feel and appreciate. This good natured quality that fundamentally defined him drew people to him with great trust, respect, enjoyment, and humor. In the last ten years, Ken faced several health adversities head on never letting them get the best of him or stop him from his active lifestyle. Up until four months ago, Ken was a very active man- going to the gym three times a week, babysitting his grandchildren, flying to Colorado to see his daughter and her family, going up to Maine with the whole family, going to the casino with his daughter, Sharon, and going to the track and the casino with his son, Stephen. Ken socialized at Sophia’s Sports Bar several times a week playing Keno and teaching many young people there how to play pool. His nickname at Sophia’s became “Coach” over the years. Ken sang and played music by ear for his family, whether it was the piano or the harmonica. His granddaughter Riley has inherited his gift for music and he recently offered her loving advice before her first solo cello concert. Ken also wrote poetry, read regularly, and loved crossword puzzles. Ken met his family for coffee and breakfast two times a week and for the past 16 years Ken made dinner for his daughter, Sharon at his house every Tuesday and Friday night. Ken has been an active participant or host in all assorted family functions, holidays, traditions, birthdays, rituals, cookouts, trips and gatherings for our entire lives and will be missed more deeply than any words could express. It is our honor to have a father who has lived his 82 years with the goal of loving us so completely and being so much a loving part of the world around him.