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Bridge of Hope
P. O. Box 318
Rockford, MI 49341
Life Story / Obituary
Loving, loyal, and kind Jerry Dale Lane lived a life rich in faith and family. Son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, and friend; Jerry was determined to be a good friend and to provide for those he cared for most. He lead with his heart, and in so doing, showed through his example how to live a loving and meaningful life. Revered by many, Jerry’s memory will long be cherished in the hearts of those he so powerfully loved.
Jerry was born on May 7, 1941 in Olean, New York. Along with his sister, Linda, Jerry was raised by his parents Lewis and Vivian (Coleman) Lane. Growing up in the comforts of the 40s and 50s, Jerry's childhood was rooted in the values of family, faith, and the importance of hard work. Although he grew up in Michigan, it was the mountains of Pennsylvania that he loved. He could hardly wait for school to get out so he could go live with his grandparents in Eldred, Pennsylvania where he also enjoyed the company of other relatives. Although Jerry was not one to share a lot of memories, he did have fond stories of those days, including playing baseball, eating creamsicles, and listening to Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino. He also had a mischievous side, and with friends with names like Fast Freddy, adventures seemed to abound.
Once his family settled in Michigan, Jerry attended Main Oakview Elementary. He then attended Creston High School where he gave his very best effort to have a chance to play on the football team. After high school, Jerry joined the army along with some friends. Although he looked forward to the end of his time in the service, he certainly made the most of his time there. He spent part of his enlistment stationed in Germany as a decoder. Upon safely returning home, Jerry earned his Bachelors degree from Grand Valley and later, a Masters Degree in education from Michigan State University.
During high school, Jerry had the good fortune of meeting fellow student, Ruth DeVoogd who was clearly the love of his life. After dating for a time, the young couple began setting their eyes on a future spent together. On Nov 6th, 1964, Jerry and Ruth married at Bethany Reformed Church surrounded by family and friends. After honeymooning to Niagara Falls, they began their family life on Balsam Ave. in Grand Rapids where they soon welcomed their son, Steve in 1967 and daughter Amy 1970.
A loving father, Jerry possessed an unwavering faith in his children. Jerry relished in fatherhood; his family was truly his heart’s delight. Having grown a love of sports during his own youth, he became an avid fan of Michigan State sports, cheered on the Detroit Tigers, and was an avid Detroit Lions fan. Many wonderful memories were made cheering on his teams with his children at his side. A man of deep faith, it was also important to Jerry that he raise his children with the strong Christian traditions they explored and developed at Calvary Church. Kind and caring; loyal and protective; supportive and steadfast, Jerry afforded his children a solid foundation upon which to build their lives. And, as they grew into adulthood, he became a true friend for each of them.
Naturally quiet, Jerry was a man who lead by example. His passion for history and call to be of service to others inspired his career as a teacher. For many years he shared his kindness and wisdom with the students at Forest Hills Schools. Dedicated to providing, Jerry supplemented his income by working at Old Kent Bank, primarily as a debt collector. He also shared his time and talents with his church community through his services as a Sunday school teacher and in providing transportation for Saturday services. After retiring, Jerry volunteered at Northville Park and Northview Schools, continuing to help young people reach their highest potential.
Jerry was a humble man who was easily contented by the simple pleasures of listening to the songs of his youth, reading from his vast collection of books caring for his yard, watching the History Channel, and enjoying time spent with the people he loved. He had a spontaneous side as well, surprising his family with a boat one year, and also buying a Puch scooter. In retirement years, Jerry faithfully met with his friends at Mr. Burger for morning coffee and usually then went to Meijer, where he would get his newspaper and anything else that Ruth needed. He always enjoyed a trip to Goodwill as well.
His family was his joy and watching his children grow into adulthood and create families of their own filled Jerry with loving pride. Jerry eagerly welcomed his daughter and son-in-law, as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren into his heart. Having the opportunity to take a family vacation to Disney World was a special treat and the honor of sharing 54 years of marriage with Ruth was a blessing. For Jerry, there was no greater gift than the family he and Ruth were so blessed to share.
Clearly, it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Jerry’s steadfast presence. May it afford deep comfort to know that the most authentic way to celebrate the gift of Jerry’s life is to choose to live the way he did--faithfully in humble service of others. He modeled the meaning of loyal friend, wonderful listener, protective and supportive family man. In this way, we carry Jerry’s legacy forward into the world where his good love can continue to touch, move, and inspire others.
LANE – Dearly loved and cherished Husband, Father, Son, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa and Friend, Jerry D. Lane age 77, of Grand Rapids, passed away into our Lord and Savior’s loving care on May 19, 2018. He will be greatly missed by Ruth, his wife for 54 years; children, Steve (Kari) Lane and Amy (John Skowronski) Lane; grandchildren, Alexandria (Matthew) Cable, Bennett Lane, Madelyn Kaczmarczyk-Lane, Tyler Skowronski and Christian Skowronski; and great-grandchildren, Asher and Hannah Cable. Also, surviving is his mother, Vivian Lane; sister, Linda Playter; brother-in-law, Richard (Kay) De Voogd; sisters-in-law, Doris Mayhew and Mary (Gary) Proos; uncle, Robert Coleman; niece, Kimberly (Frank) Zoppa; and nephew, Kevin Playter. The Funeral Service will be held at 2 PM on Wed, May 30, 2018, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. The family will receive visitors from 6-8 PM on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service. Contributions in his memory may be made to Bridge of Hope. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read his lifestory, submit a memory, photo or to sign the guestbook.