William Sterling “Bill” Lane Jr., age 77, died on May 6, 2015, in Snellville, GA. He was preceded in death by his sisters Betty Fowler (Bob) of Jupiter, FL and Ann Hale of Topeka, KS.
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Dr. Lane was born on November 15, 1937, in Tallassee, Alabama, son of William Sterling Lane, Sr. and Verna Ruth Middlebrooks. He was a graduate of the University of Alabama, bachelors of arts degree and master of arts degree in Music Education, 1959 and 1962, and the University of Georgia, 1974, earning doctorate of education and specialist of education degrees in Music Education. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, American Educational Research Association, Society for Research in Music Education, and the American Association of University Professors.
Bill’s first profession spanned over 30 years as a musician and educator. While attending the University of Alabama as an undergraduate, he was a member of the Million Dollar Band from 1955-1959. Also as a working musician, he played many gigs in the area, from jazz combos to a short stint in a circus band. He taught band and chorus in the public schools in Alabama, Virginia and Georgia (Rome, Athens, Eatonton, Macon). While teaching in Athens, he earned additional advanced degrees in Music Education from UGA. In addition to teaching, he was a composer, arranger and jazz pianist. While his primary instruments were piano and euphonium, as a veteran music teacher he learned to be proficient and provide instruction on all the instruments. As a high school band director he often created arrangements for his bands, as well as routines for the marching bands. He had countless articles published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, and authored a published a book entitled “The Secondary School Music Laboratory, An Accelerated Program for Teaching Instrumental Skills in the General Music Classroom.”
In 1984 Bill moved to Jupiter, FL to be near family and retired from teaching music. He launched a new career as a computer programmer. He became proficient in COBOL and later taught structured programming, COBOL, FORTRAN, C , C and Visual Basic as an adjunct instructor at the Palm Beach Community College from 1992-1996. But music was never far away. He combined his computer and music skills, entering all of his arrangements including many new ones into Finale, a professional notation program and published a catalog of his work as a combination of PDFs and MIDI files to a web site he created under the pen name “The Lone Arranger.” Bill continued working for various corporations in Palm Beach County as a programmer until officially retiring in 2008 at age 70. Shortly after retiring, Bill moved to Duluth, GA to be near family and continued arranging music.
He is survived by his children: David Alan Lane (Shirley), Snellville, GA, Jennifer Ruth Lane, Colorado Springs, CO; three grandchildren: Tony Crecelius (Christine), Dacula, GA; Devina Cashion-Patterson (Will), Bethlehem, GA; Shaun Brooks (Jessica), Statesboro, GA; and many beloved great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
The family has chosen cremation and no services are planned at this time. A donation may be made to the Georgia Music Teachers Association or a charity of your choice in memory of Bill.
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