Rita T. Lane, 89
Alaska Pioneer and Veteran Rita T. Lane, 89, died at her home on S. Birchwood Lp., in Chugiak, Nov. 24, 2016.
Rita was born in Manchester, NH. She grew up there then went on to Plymouth College where she majored in education. Rita taught briefly in NH then joined the WAFs at the beginning of the Korean conflict. After completing her tour of duty, she drove the ALCAN in 1953 to Anchorage. After teaching in Anchorage, Rita attended UAF and received her Masters in Education in 1956. While at UAF she met her husband Wendell. They taught at Ft. Greely and Kasilof then settled in Chugiak on property they acquired through the Alaska Homestead Program. They built a home and raised a family of eight children.
Rita provided her children with a wide range of life experiences. She encouraged a love for reading, music and sports. Rita enjoyed gardening.
Rita was a member at St Andrew’s Church in Eagle River. From the late 1950’s she was involved in teaching religion, the Altar Society and Legion of Mary. Rita was also a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, PTA, the Chugiak/Eagle River Hist. Society and the Birchwood Comm. Council. As a volunteer, Rita worked the polls and registered voters. She worked with the Alaska Literacy Council and also successfully regained her teaching license after a lapse of 35 years.
Rita exemplified the spirit of adventure and courageous sacrifice needed to make a way of life in this “Last Frontier”.
Her daughter Sylvia in 1988 and her ex-husband Wendell predeceased Rita in 2012. She is survived by her brother Maurice Champagne her daughters Dr. Catharine Nakajima, Sr. Patricia Thomas, Sr. Helen Rita, Lela (Terry) and Susan as well as her sons Thomas and James and grandchildren, Shin, Jon, Amanda, Sylvana, Keese, and Caitlyn.
Prayers and Masscards would be appreciated for Rita. A memorial offering could be made to one of the many organizations that Rita cherished.
A Wake service will be held Fri., Dec. 2 from 4-6 PM with prayers at 5 PM and a funeral Mass will be celebrated Sat., Dec. 3 at 10 AM with reception following. Location for all events: St Andrew Church, 16300 Domain Lane, Eagle River, AK. Memories of Rita can be found at legacyalaska.com