The Rev. Robert Chase Lane, a long-time pastor of the Enfield Congregational Church, UCC, died peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 15, 2016. He was 90 years old.
Bob was married to Fidelia Lane, who died in March. Both were well known throughout the Connecticut Conference.
Born to G. Homer Lane and Susan Chase Lane on November 23, 1925 in Milford, New Hampshire, Bob grew up in Torrington, Connecticut, as a minister's son with his four siblings (Charlotte, Cynthia, George and Susan). He spent summers with his extended family near Brunswick, Maine, at Merepoint where he roamed the shore and sailed the waters with friends and relations. He loved a good race and a good read about boating.
He majored in math at Amherst College (‘49) until the outbreak of WWII when he enlisted and spent two years in the army. He was stationed in Japan during the declaration of peace time. Following graduation from Amherst he decided to train for the ministry like his father and grandfather, at the Hartford Seminary where he met his two closest friends: Bill Inderstrodt and Fidelia Augur. After marrying Fidie, they spent a summer together in North Dakota working with children through churches on Native American reservations.
Bob was ordained in 1952 and his first job as a minister was in Baraboo, Wisconsin, where his children Bill and Becky, were born. His second parish was in North Branford, Connecticut, where Janet, his third child, was born. The Enfield church was his final parish: he served from 1967 to 1990 and was made Pastor Emeritus after retiring.
He was known for facilitating respectful decision making within his congregation and in ecumenical settings. He was not afraid to stand up for what he thought was just and fair. He supported reproductive rights, and the rights of conscientious objectors. After retiring, he moved to Windsor, Connecticut, and became an active member in the First Church of Windsor, where he urged his UCC denomination to welcome LGBT individuals. He was a leader in the process of encouraging 30 Connecticut churches to become Open and Affirming.
Bob was a good listener and a wise counselor whether in a pastoral setting, with a friend, or doing committee work. He was Director of the founding board of the North Central Health District and Mental Health District of Connecticut and a Paul Harris Fellow in the Enfield Rotary Club. He was active in the Hartford Seminary Alumni Association.
Bob welcomed fun and he served as the Dean for church summer camps including one on board a sailboat. He built a wooden sailfish in the basement at North Branford for use on Connecticut lakes and Casco Bay, Maine. Bob enjoyed sailing, reading, stamp collecting, light carpentry, camping with his family, playing with his grandchildren (Anna, Toby and Robin), and traveling. He welcomed any opportunity to share his gregarious kindness while serving as a member of his community. He was with his family in Maine reading and chatting on the porch days before he returned to his retirement home in Cromwell where he died peacefully in his sleep in his 90th year of a very full life.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 11:00am at the First Church in Windsor, Congregational, 107 Palisado Ave, Windsor, CT (time to be announced). Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115 or to Friends of Casco Bay, 43 Slocum Drive, South Portland, ME 04106.