Alice Lou Lane, 99, Oak Ridge

Alice Lou Lane, age 99, of Oak Ridge, died on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at Commonwealth Senior Living in Oak Ridge, just one month short of her 100th birthday. Alice was looking forward to her birthday party and now is celebrating with her Lord and Savior and her many friends and relatives who died before her. Alice was born on July 23, 1921, in Knoxville, TN, to parents Samuel Franklin Lane and Nettie Lou Baldwin Lane.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her three siblings Carl Lane, Elizabeth Lane Swift, and Paul Jones.

Alice spent her childhood in North Knoxville and graduated from Knoxville High School in 1940. She worked at the Standard Knitting Mill and the White Store before going to work at Miller’s Department Store on Gay Street in 1945. She turned a temporary seasonal job into a thirteen year career working the refund desk at Miller’s. It was there that Alice met Lillian Witcher, who became her lifelong friend. Showing a great spirit for adventure and independence as a single woman at that time, Alice moved to Chicago, IL, in 1958 to join the Witcher family. There she worked as a bookkeeper for the Great American Insurance Company for almost 20 years.

While in Chicago Alice was a faithful member of Messiah Baptist Church serving as a Sunday School teacher and then the superintendent of the Primary Department. Continuing life’s adventures, Alice moved with the Witchers to Coral Springs, FL, for a brief time before settling in Hendersonville, TN, in 1979. She joined College Heights Baptist Church in Gallatin and was an active member of the “Hearts for the Shepherd” women’s Sunday School class. While in Hendersonville, Alice worked at the local McDonald’s and became known around town as the “birthday party lady” giving birthday parties to children at McDonald’s for 10 years. Alice moved back to Knoxville in 2008 after a 50-year absence. There she lived with her cousin Flora Bost King and enjoyed being closer to her other relatives. She immediately joined Wallace Memorial Baptist Church and participated in their senior programs and trips. Alice started another adventure in 2013 when she moved to Greenfield Senior Living, now Commonwealth Senior Living, in Oak Ridge to be closer to her niece Janet Swift. Alice quickly made new friends among the residents and staff at Commonwealth, including special friend Helen Waraksa. Alice enjoyed taking part in many activities, especially Bingo, and giving several performances of her Minnie Pearl impersonation. Alice is survived by niece Janet Swift and husband Donald Spong of Oak Ridge and great niece Kate Swift-Spong and husband Dalton Combs of Los Angeles, CA, in addition to first cousin Marshall Bost and many other cousins in the Knoxville area.

Alice is also survived by members of the Witcher family. Janet Swift gives special thanks and gratitude to the loving staff of Commonwealth Senior Living who welcomed Alice and helped her enjoy her home in Oak Ridge. She also thanks the compassionate staff of Caris Healthcare.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice. The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at Weatherford Mortuary. The funeral service and celebration of a life well lived will follow at 7 pm with Rev. Kent Williams officiating. Family and friends will gather for graveside services 11 am Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville.

An online guestbook is available at

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