Thursday, January 3, 2013

Betty Jewel Lane (1926-1992)

Red hair, blue eyes, an easy laugh, and sometimes a fiery temper, Betty Jewel Lane was the youngest of William Bowman Lane and Martha Pierce Lane's eight children.  My mom was born in Pruden, Tennessee, where her daddy worked as a coal miner and where the family lived in a company-owned house beside the railroad tracks.

Betty Jewel Lane (r) and her nephew Billy Schooler
Pruden, Tennessee, c. 1932

Her siblings were Gladys, Leland, Edith, Jessie, Nolan, Roy, and Ruth.  Mom always said that even though they were a poor family, they were happy.  Mom adored her parents and her brothers and sisters, and she was especially close to Gladys, who helped raise her, and to Nolan and Ruth.  With her family, she later moved to Lafollette, Tennessee, where she graduated from high school, and then to Middlesboro, Kentucky.

Betty Jewel Lane, c. 1945
Lafollette (TN) High School

In Middlesboro, Mom worked as a clerk in Lee's Drug Store where she met my dad, Frank Welch Lee.  They married in 1959, and I came along in 1961.  They also had another child, my little brother, Frank Lewis Lee II, who was born in 1962.  It was a difficult birth and my brother died when he was only two days old.  I don't think Mom ever really got over the loss of my brother, but I do think she loved being my mom.

1959 Marriage Announcement of
Betty Jewel Lane and Frank Welch Lee

Just Married, August 5, 1959
Betty Jewel Lane and Frank Welch Lee
Rose Hill, Virginia

When I started first grade, Mom, at the age of 40, started college.  Four years later, she graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln Memorial University with a major in sociology.  She worked for a number of years as a social worker in Bell County, KentuckyMom passed away much too soon in 1992 from acute plasma cell leukemia.

Betty Lane Lee, 1971
Graduation from Lincoln Memorial University
Harrogate, Tennessee

Mom was a voracious reader, she loved to play golf, and she was an avid Tennessee Vols fan.  She liked to talk, she laughed until she cried when watching Steve Martin's movie The Jerk, and she hated people who acted as if they were better than others. What I remember most about Mom, however, is how much she genuinely liked people.  She especially loved being around young people, always welcoming my friends and our neighbors into our home.  She was fiercely loyal to her family and her friends, and she was so proud of her heritage.  So I dedicate this blog to my beautiful mother, and I look forward finding out about my Lane family roots.  I also look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to connect and share information about our family.

Betty Jewell Lane, c. 1945

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