PLYMOUTH - Anne Claire (Mullen) Lane passed away this week at the age of 78. Born in Rome, NY to Charles Henry Mullen and Ann Claire Harrington, she spent many happy years of childhood in Fall River & Westport, Massachusetts at the homes of her adoring grandparents. A graduate of the Hingham High School Class of 1961, she married fellow classmate Clifford Warren Lane, II, whom she leaves to mourn her after 59 years of marriage. Together they raised four children, Frederick S. Lane III (Amy) of Brooklyn, NY; Jonathan C. Lane (Allison) of Lincoln, RI; Elizabeth A. Murdock (Jeremy) of Rehoboth, MA, and Katherine L. Van Sleet (Matthew) of Somerville, MA.
As much as she loved being a mother it was her role as a grandmother that brought her unbridled joy. Few problems in her life could not be solved by time spent with any one of her 10 grandchildren: Benton (Elizabeth) & Peter Lane; Jonathan & Thomas Lane; Isabel, Sophie & Henry Murdock; and Laura, Molly & Charlotte Van Sleet. Our condolences to the Plymouth tourism economy and especially to the ice cream parlors, the Pirate cruises, Mayflower II, and the Old-Time photo studios that will miss her patronage. Her grandchildren will forever recall her endless font of family stories and will cherish the memories of her unconditional love, her frequent texting of jokes, and her world-class goody bags for all occasions.
Anne will be fondly remembered by the people of the town of Rockland where she and Warren raised their children. Both Anne and Warren were active in town politics, with Anne spending many years as a member of the School Committee, the Parents Advisory Council, and the Operation Goblin organizing committee. She was also a vocal and vehement supporter of the arts, particularly the many school and community drama programs in which her children performed.
Her friends and family would have a hard time naming a craft that Anne did not master during her lifetime, expertise that earned her numerous prizes and awards along the way. An avid knitter from childhood, she created, designed, and marketed her own patterns under the company “Anne Lane Originals.” Similarly, her handiwork in the crafts of Nantucket basket construction, sailor’s Valentines, tole painting, crewel work, bargello, counted cross-stitch, needlepoint & embroidery are of museum quality. In particular, a 5’ x 8’ rug she hooked featuring the flora and fauna of New England, took “Best of Show” at the Eastern States Exposition in September 1981.
Anne was a passionate reader throughout her life, with a particular fondness for English history, English murder mysteries, and English crafts (to describe her as an Anglophile is an understatement of epic proportions). Conversations with Anne frequently involved references to “her friends,” a phrase that encompassed various members of the English royal family ranging from her beloved Queen Elizabeth II to as far back as the Tudors and the Plantagenets (roughly 700 years for those of you keeping score). On many of her trips to England, Anne would astonish local tour guides with the depth and breadth of her knowledge while her expostulations at the tombs of people dead for the odd half millennia or more would earn her a raised eyebrow or two. Her grasp of English history and enthusiastic storytelling served her in good stead during her many years as a colonial interpreter at Plimoth Plantation.
The only school day her children were allowed to miss without an actual illness was opening day of the Red Sox season. Anne and Warren observed this “High Holiday” by teaching their children all of the sacraments of a successful visit to Fenway Park, including the donation to the Jimmy Fund Box, learning how to keep score, buying peanuts from a street vendor on the way into the park, and of course, learning the phrase “wait ‘til next year.” While baseball was her first love, the Celtics were a close second, particularly in those magical years of 1962 to 1969, when $5 could get you court-side seats.
In addition to her immediate family, Anne also leaves behind two sisters, Carolyn Arey (Thomas) of Tolland, CT & Martha Taradash (Bernard) of Westport, MA and a brother, Charles P. Mullen (Abigail) of South Hadley, MA and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Plymouth Fragment Society, P.O. Box 6386, Plymouth MA 02362-6386. Burial will be private with a memorial service to be held later. Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements.
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