Denman Claire Lane was born in Neodesha, Kansas on August 22, 1931 to Rex Wells Lane and Beva Marie (Henderson) Lane. He passed away on May 9, 2019 at Elm Heights in Shenandoah, Iowa.
After living about 10 years in Neodesha, his family packed up and moved to Blanchard, Iowa. Coming from a bigger town with paved streets, and moving into Blanchard on a rainy day with muddy, unpaved streets, he said he wondered where in the world his parents had brought them!
But he quickly grew to love this little town, where he met and made many life-long friends.
While he was in high school, he also met Ruby Irvin, who was forever the love of his life. After Claire graduated with the Blanchard class of 1950, he and Ruby were married on March 4, 1951. They had just celebrated their 68th Anniversary.
Just a few months after getting married, Claire and his brother-in-law Bob Irvin, entered into the U.S. Army. They served during the Korean Conflict. They were both stationed in Germany, and were both discharged in 1953.
After returning home, Claire worked for Lane Drilling Company with his father, Rex, and his brother, Carroll. Not only did the brothers work together, but they had married sisters, so they were all especially close. Both families were growing, and Claire and Ruby’s children, Teresa and Dwight, were born during this time.
Claire’s father Rex was always quite an entrepreneur, and in 1960 he landed a contract with the US Corp of Engineers, to drill 100 water wells in each of the countries of Turkey and Iran. So Claire and his brother-in-law Dale Nally went to Iran, and Rex and Carroll went to Turkey, where they each spent one full year working, before returning home. It was a hard time being away from his family, but oh what an adventure and what stories he loved to tell!
Then, thinking maybe he was ready to try a different career path, he and Ruby decided to move their little family to South Gate, CA where his oldest brother Verle lived. They lived in California during 1963-1964, and enjoyed the new adventure, and experiencing everything they possibly could while they were there. But the pull of friends and family returned them to Blanchard.
Claire and Carroll continued growing Lane Drilling after the death of their father, and eventually the company included Carroll’s sons and grandsons.
Claire was also very active in the United Methodist Church and helped with dinners and many activities that the town of Blanchard held. He also served as the Mayor of Blanchard twice. Once in the late 1960’s, and the second term in 2008
In 1983, Lane Drilling sold to Stang Hydronics of California, a major dewatering company. Carroll moved to their California office, and Claire continued to work for them, drilling wells all over the country. Stang Hydronics was then purchased by Griffin Dewatering, Inc in 1988. Claire and Ruby moved to Omaha and he worked out of their Omaha office for two years.
In 1990, Claire decided to give up drilling, as it was requiring him to be gone from home more and more, and he then went to work for NSK-AKS in Clarinda. He retired on his birthday in 1996.
He enjoyed his retirement, spending time working and doing welding jobs in his little shop in Blanchard.
With health problems in 2010, he and Ruby moved to Essex, to be closer to their daughter and his healthcare. They ended up enjoying living in Essex very much, and the move became permanent. They enjoyed being closer to family, and being able to see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren every time they came to town
After some new health problems during the last year, Claire entered Elm Heights on April 29, 2019.
Preceding Claire in death were his parents, Rex and Beva Lane, parents in law Warren and Essie Irvin, brothers Verle Lane and his wife Evelyn, and Carroll Lane and wife Betty, and brother in law Dale Nally, and sisters in law Ann Lane and Ikie Lane.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ruby, daughter Teresa (Dennis) Perry of Essex, son Dwight (Pam) Lane of Oakland, NE. Grandchildren Derek Perry (Tony Vincent), Lisa (Jake) Strickland, Dallas (Amanda) Lane, and Valerie (Ryan) Holzer.
Great grandchildren Kaylee Lane, Connor and Ellie Perry-Vincent, Taylor and Ty Strickland, and Cameron and Delaney Holzer. Step grandchildren Ryan Yorty and Sarah Yorty, and her daughter Peyton.
Also sister, Floy Nally; brother-in-law, Bob Irvin and wife Mary Ann, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Joint graveside services will be held June 30, 2019 with his brother Carroll.
Memorials to Essex Fire and Rescue
Cards may be sent to:
601 South Ave, Apt 2
Essex, IA 51638