Evelyn M. Lane, 88, longtime teacher who inspired love of music in her pupils

June 13, 1996|By A SUN STAFF WRITER

Evelyn M. Lane, who taught fifth grade in the Baltimore public school system for more than 40 years, died Saturday at the Anne Arundel Medical Center of complications from a fall at her Cape St. Claire home. She was 88.

"She was one of the last of the old-time teachers whose sole

purpose in life was the teaching of children," said T. Bryan McIntire, who was a student in Miss Lane's fifth-grade class at Windsor Hills Elementary School in 1940.

"She was one of my favorites and had a grace and dignity that everyone respected. She never raised her voice and didn't have to scold to make a point," said Mr. McIntire, a 3rd District Baltimore County councilman.

"She gave me my great love of classical music, and I can still remember her playing a record of Edvard Grieg's 'Peer Gynt.' I found it so exciting. Because of her encouragement, I later went on to study music at the Peabody Conservatory. She certainly made a differance in my life," said Mr. McIntire, a Glyndon resident.

Virginia Lee Manchester, a piano teacher who lives in Columbia, remembered Miss Lane's fairness.

"She was very, very fair," said Mrs. Manchester, recalling those days 50 years ago in the two-story brick schoolhouse that stood on Alto Road and Mount Holly Street in a much less crowded and slightly rural Windsor Hills.

"She had more patience with the boys and was interested in their staying interested," Mrs. Manchester said with a chuckle. "She knew that boys learned differently than girls, and she kept them going even when they were obstreperous."

Miss Lane began teaching in 1928 after earning a teacher's certificate from the old Towson Normal School, now Towson State University. She spent most of her career at Windsor Hills Elementary and retired in 1968 from Fallstaff Elementary School.

Two years ago, Windsor Hill alumni had a reunion at which Miss Lane was the star attraction.

"She was then 86 and was the belle of the ball as her former students lined up to see and speak with her. It validated her hopes that she had taught her children well. It was one of the highlights of her life," said a nephew, Stephen E. Lane of Los Angeles.

A 1926 graduate of Western High School, Miss Lane was born and raised in her family's Victorian-style home in Walbrook Junction, where her nephew recalled weekend visits that were filled with music and laughter.

A self-taught musician, "Aunt Ebby," as she was called by family members, taught herself to play the piano.

"She played an old up-right piano and led the family sing-alongs in a room that had a hand-cranked Victrola," Mr. Lane said.

About 20 years ago, Miss Lane moved from Northwest Baltimore to Cape St. Claire, where she planted various fruit trees in her yard.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Cape St. Claire United Methodist Church, 855 Chestnut Tree Drive, Annapolis, where she had been a member for many years.

In addition to her nephew, survivors include a brother, C. Walter Lane Jr. of Timonium; a sister, Jean L. Herold of Towson; and another nephew, Douglas W. Lane of Jensen Beach, Fla.

Pub Date: 6/13/96

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