CHESTERTOWN — Barbara Lane Thomas passed away on May 17, 2019, in her home at Heron Point, a retirement community in Chestertown.
Barbara was born July 28, 1919, in Summit, N.J., daughter of Ralph Douglas Lane and Grace Kane Lane.
She was predeceased by brothers John Burns Lane and Franklin Douglas Lane; nieces Alison Lane Murphy and JoAnne Lane Carl; grand-niece Beth Tamburini; grand-nephew, Michael Greene; and great-grand-nephew Michael Corb. In 1950, she married William Wensley Thomas and was widowed in 1981. They had no children.
Always important to Barbara were family, God, community and country. Known to everyone in the family as Aunt Barbara, she held a respected and central role. Family members who, in passing through childhood, spoke of her as “the one who must be obeyed,” came to understand that she was truly kind in a thoughtful and no-nonsense way.
Barbara resided in Maplewood, N.J., until her marriage and then lived in Colts Neck, N.J., until her move to Heron Point in 1991. In Colts Neck, she was a member of the Colts Neck Woman’s Club and the Garden Club RFD in Middletown, N.J. She served on the Election Board of Colts Neck Township, the Planning Board and the Environmental Commission. She was an active volunteer for many other service organizations.
After moving to Chestertown, Barbara served on the First Resident Council at Heron Point and as manager of the Gift Shop. She was a member of the Chestertown Garden Club, a Master Critic (Emeritus) of the Landscape Design Council of Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland and a member of the Kent Historical Society. She was active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Chestertown, and served as a Lector and Eucharistic minister to the sick.
Barbara’s generosity extended not only to her family and through her many acts of service, but also as a financial supporter of many worthy organizations: the Radcliffe Creek School in Chestertown; Chester River Health Foundation; the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Va.; and St Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D., were just some of the many recipients.
She had a lifelong passion for learning and traveled with Elderhostel (Road Scholar), took courses at Washington College and went on many educationally-centered cruises upon American rivers and around the world.
Aunt Barbara is survived by nephews Douglas C. Lane (Gay), Robert D. Lane (Elisabeth), Michael D. Lane and Patrick J. Lane (Maggie) and nieces Judith Lane Wiggin (John), Virginia Burns Lane (Michael Zupko), Janet Lane Greene (David), Margaret Lane Terranova (Angelo), Elizabeth A. Lane Barnes (Don) and Nancy Anne Lane.
As the matriarch of the ever-expanding Lane families, Barbara happily oversaw the lives of and gave sage advice to 26 grand-nieces and grand-nephews and 41 great-grand-nieces and great-grand-nephews.
A Funeral Mass will be open to the public and held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 30, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 508 High St., Chestertown. Reception following in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heron Point Benevolent Fund, 501 East Campus Ave., Chestertown, MD.
Arrangements by Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home, 130 Speer Road, Chestertown.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.fhnfuneralhome.com.