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Clifford Warren Lane, II

February 2, 1944 — January 2, 2024


PLYMOUTH - Clifford Warren Lane, II passed away this week at the age of 79. He was born in Foxborough, MA to Frederick S. Lane, II and Barbara Bentley. He spent happy years of his childhood on the family farm (now known as the Lane Homestead Conservation Property) where he had access to all the joys that nature and adoring grandparents just up the hill could afford. His grandmother Edith Persis (Fales) Mott was especially influential, nurturing Warren’s innate talent on the piano which provided him, his family, his friends, and neighbors with a lifetime of enjoyment. Beethoven’s Emperor’s Concerto was a particular favorite. His grandfather Clifford Warren Lane taught him to love the land and all the bounty it could provide for the home gardener, hunter, and fisherman.

Warren was the “all-in” brand of father and grandfather. Nothing made him happier than spending time with his 4 children and 10 grandchildren. From just tossing the frisbee, to his ridiculous Wiffle Ball eephus pitch, to being viciously tackled by an unrepentant and immovable laundry line pole, Warren loved being active with his kids. He coached the boys Little League team (and frequently could be heard yelling “Two Hands!”), rehearsed with the high school and community theater groups in his living room, laid out underground student newspapers in the kitchen, and raced down Route 3 so his daughter could make the last Vineyard ferry.

He was the OG “Esoterica Man,” whose catch-phrase “Did you know…?” was bound to elicit groans from his children. Trivia games of all sorts were his delight - particularly Facts in Five and Trivial Pursuit. In 1971 Warren was even a contestant on the NBC game show Who, What, Where!. Military history was his passion and he delighted in the study of every military campaign. He read and re-read Fletcher Pratt’s A Short History of the Civil War to exhaustion, even naming the family pets after Civil War generals and their horses.

Warren especially loved playing games with his kids, although his strict adherence to the rules was questionable when his defeat was a prospect. Cribbage, chess, and checkers were favorites and later, the Avalon Hill games such as Axis and Allies and Wooden Ships & Iron Men. The game France 1940 was laid out on the kitchen table at Christmas in 1972 and is still being played to this day. But his greatest gaming skill was in a community game of poker. Doubters were always schooled when Warren silently collected all of their money and quietly left the table at the end of the night. He used to brag in high school that this was how his dates with Anne were funded.

Classmates from Hingham High School might be surprised to learn that for all of his studiousness, Warren was actually quite the prankster. In the dark, pre-PC ages, for example, he offered his services as term paper typist to his children. This meant that he would take the opportunity to insert, as the whim moved him, made-up words or bibliographical sources as a “test” upon unsuspecting teachers (and unsuspecting children). “Oglebits” was a particularly favorite “word” and the book Geheime deutsche Diplomatie zwischen den Kriegen still waits to be found to this day.

Warren is predeceased by his beloved wife Anne (Mullen) Lane, his partner and equal in every way for more than 59 years. Never early risers, Anne and Warren would stay up until all hours debating hot topics of the day (Watergate, the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations, the Red Sox, the Celtics, good English monarchs, bad English monarchs, and could “Pickett’s Charge” ever have succeeded?). But he was always “ready” in the morning to dole out the needed school “lunch money” - after his kids had brought him the necessary 2 or 3 cups of coffee, of course.

These two love birds enjoyed driving and were always up for a road trip, even if the family car was not (as the architect of “Happy Saturdays” Warren became adept at side-of-the-road automobile repair!). Whether the trip was to Nantasket beach, the midwest to sell Anne’s knitting patterns, or following Arnold’s route to Quebec with his wife and daughters, Warren was world famous for his “short-cuts”. 

Warren is deeply mourned by his children, Frederick S. Lane III (Amy) of Brooklyn, NY; Jonathan C. Lane (Allison) of Lincoln, RI; Elizabeth A. Murdock (Jeremy) of Rehoboth, MA; Katherine L. Van Sleet (Matthew) of Somerville, MA and his grandchildren, Benton Lane (Elizabeth), Peter Lane, Jonathan Lane, Thomas Lane, Sophie Murdock, Isabel Murdock, Henry Murdock, Laura Van Sleet, Molly Van Sleet, and Charlotte Van Sleet. Warren also leaves behind sisters Susan B. Herley (Peter) of San Rafael, CA; Martha C. Lane of Rochester, NY; and brother Jeffrey C. Lane (Maryanne) of Rochester, NY.

A private burial will be held at Beech Grove Cemetery in Westport.  A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced, and details will be forthcoming.

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements.

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