Larry Curtis Lane, born April 15, 1948, lost his fight against COVID-19 on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.
Larry was an amazing father, husband and papaw. He had a great love and respect for independent, smart women, starting with his late mother, Gracie Umphrey Lane, and extending to his sisters, daughters, granddaughters and many nieces. Larry’s greatest love and respect, however, was reserved for his wife, Rosa Lee Courtney Lane, whom he affectionately referred to as Rose throughout their 50 years of marriage. When Larry met Rose, he thought she was “the prettiest and smartest woman in the world.” After they were married, he “couldn’t wait to get home and didn’t want to leave.” He also loved her for giving him “three great children” that he “wouldn’t trade for no one else’s.” Larry considered his grandchildren a blessing and wanted them to grow up to be “engineers, scientists, presidents and maybe a journalist.”
Larry had a great deal of love for his brothers, son, grandsons and nephews. The youngest son of Fred and Gracie Lane, Larry lost his father at the young age of 13. His older brothers, Dallas and Melvin, became his father figures and closest friends until their untimely deaths. Larry didn’t have many friends. The friends he did have were true friends. Friends who loved him like a brother. Friends who were family to him.
He was a fun guy who loved life. Larry loved to laugh, and he loved to argue. If he could do one while doing the other, then that was all the better. When he was dying to share a silly remark, you could see the mischief in his eyes. He had a talent for irritating people while making them laugh at the same time. You could depend on Larry to give you the raw, honest truth no matter how welcome or appreciated. It was often unwelcome but no less true.
Larry was a generous man who helped many when they stumbled. His acts of kindness went unadvertised but not unnoticed. Whether he was planting vegetables for the widow who lived at the top of the hill, pulling a nephew’s truck out of the mud or buying a coat for a niece, he helped people out of empathy, kindness and love.
Larry was a hard-working, loving father. His children were his greatest pride. His grandchildren were his greatest joy. He wanted each of them to be happy and to be the best versions of themselves. To that end, he was never shy about dispensing advice or giving life lessons.
Except for the last three years of his life after a move to Murfreesboro to be closer to his grandchildren, Larry was a lifelong resident of Erie. He was born on a kitchen table in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. As an infant, he was the first person in the area to receive penicillin, a treatment for pneumonia he credited with saving his life. He loved gardening, watching calves play, practical jokes and Mountain Dew. Larry was a graduate of Midway High School, a farmer and a factory worker.
Recently, Larry and Rose celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and he gave a speech to the gathered family members. Larry was neither a speech writer nor a public speaker. Public speaking terrified him. On a summer day this past July, he pushed through his nervousness and emotion to express his love and appreciation for his wife and the family they built together. Many excerpts from that speech are quoted above. At the end, he summarized with, “If I die tomorrow, I’ve had a great life.”
Larry’s spirit is carried on by his wife of 50 years, Rosa Courtney Lane; children, Tonia Lane, Mona Holt and Larry Lee Lane; grandchildren; two surviving siblings, Cecil Osborne Turner and Linda Hale; and an extended family of friends and relatives.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 11, at Whitestone Country Inn, 1200 Paint Rock Road, Kingston, TN 37763. The family will provide an opportunity during the service for attendees to share stories.