GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

May 2, 2013

John E. Lane


Rockport, MA — John Embury Lane, educator and historian, was born in Rockport, December 14, 1918, son of the late Charles P. Lane and Mary McGeoch Lane.

A descendent of John Lane, first settler of Lanesville, of John Pool, second settler of Sandy Bay, and of John Blatchford, POW in the Revolutionary War, he has written articles on each generation of his family, copies of which are at the Sandy Bay Historical Society.

He lived all of his life at the family homestead, Sea View Farm, except for his WWII tour of duty. He graduated from Rockport High School in 1936 and then from Salem State Teacher’s College with a degree in education. While in college during the summers, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service, delivering mail in the south end of Rockport by car for $14 a week. He earned a Master's in Business Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Secondary School Education from Boston University under the GI Bill.

He taught business subjects at Rockport High School and served as principal for 25 years. He continued to serve the Rockport School System for three more years as Director of Special Education, retiring in 1980. Always interested in encouraging and assisting students in their pursuit of further education, he was one of the founders and treasurer of the Rockport Alumni Association for 40 years. The John E. Lane Performing Arts Center was dedicated in his honor in 1992.

In WWII, he served in the U.S. Army as an administrative, non-commissioned officer at the First Base Post Office in England, where he was stationed for three years. He achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant in charge of service records and payroll preparation for 1,000 men.

Growing up as a member of a farm family, he participated in all the farm operations at Sea View Farm. Always interested in horticulture and conservation, he maintained, while he was working and in retirement, one of the largest vegetable and flower gardens in Rockport. To help preserve open space in Rockport, he donated 23 acres of woodland in the year 2000 to the Essex County Greenbelt Association.

He was a member of the Rockport Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He served as secretary of the club for 10 years.

A member of the Rockport Universalist Church, he served on the Board of Trustees for 40 years. During this time, he served on the 1950 committee to save the steeple and modernize the building. He has written several articles regarding the church history.

He was a member of the first Thacher Island Committee. His great-grandfather, Albert Hale, was the first keeper of the new Twin Lights in 1864.

Among other activities, he was a trustee and clerk of the Granite Savings Bank. As a life-member of the Sandy Bay Historical Society, he served as treasurer for 10 years. He was a life-member of the Edward Peterson Post #98, Rockport American Legion. He was elected to the Rockport Board of Assessors for 12 years, serving as chairman for 10 years.

During his retirement years, he enjoyed travel and visited countries all over the world.

He leaves his sisters-in-law, Miriam Lane and Shirley Lane; four nephews, David Lane and his wife, Claire, Norman Swanson and his wife, Barbara, James Lane and his wife, Margaret, and Charles Lane and his wife, Mary Jane; his niece, Judy Schroeter and her husband, Paul; niece-in-law, Ellen Swanson; and nephew-in-law, John Hyland.

He was predeceased by his brothers, Roy, Charles L. and Andrew Lane; sister, Margaret; niece, Jean Hyland and nephew, Donald Swanson.

ARRANGEMENTS: His Funeral Service will be held in the First Universalist Church, 4 Cleaves St., Rockport, on Friday, May 3, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend.

There will be no visiting hours and the burial will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Rockport High School Alumni Scholarship Fund, c/o Judi Harris, 21 Summit Avenue, Rockport, MA 01966.

Arrangements are by Burgess and Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main St., Rockport. On-line condolences may be given at www.burgessandmackey.com.