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Virginia Gwen Lane
Virginia Gwen (Murphree) Lane, 58, of Riceville passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, May 11, 2019, after a 10 year valiant and courageous battle with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She endured a staggering 515 weekly chemotherapy treatments with grace and dignity, strengthened by this promise from Isaiah 50:7 that was printed on the cover of her medical notebook she carried to each appointment: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” Even in the midst of this daily struggle, she was always looking for opportunities to share her unwavering faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
She was born to Charles S. Sr. and the late Annie Ruth (Smith) Murphree on November 6, 1960 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. As the daughter of a farmer and an English teacher, she developed an early love for land and language arts that inspired her favorite hobbies of photography and writing. Gwen graduated from Community High School in 1978 as valedictorian. She received a B.S. in English with a Mass Communication minor from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982, graduating summa cum laude.
Her most important career as a stay-at-home-mom was followed by 19 years as an educator, investing in the lives of her community’s youth. She taught English at McMinn County High School for 14 years and then at Walker Valley High School for 5 years, where she initiated the Poetry Out Loud contest. She also co-directed the Eastanallee Baptist Church youth choir with her husband Larry for many years, planning yearly retreats and summer youth choir tours.
After her retirement in 2011, Gwen enjoyed pursuing many interests including beekeeping, reading, photography, fused glass jewelry, poetry, smocking, and fly fishing. She actively participated in many community organizations such as the Overhill Shutterbugs, past president of the Cherokee Beekeepers Association, Etowah Arts Commission board member, and past officer of the Trout Unlimited Hiwassee Chapter. She also supported her husband Larry in his role as Senior Adult Director at Eastanallee Baptist Church and their ministry to the Silver Stars.
In all things, whether from behind the lens of her camera as she captured the beauty of God’s creation, in the Scripture she included on her honey jar labels, in the positive attitude and trademark smile she always carried with her, even into cancer treatments, or in the peaceful words of her writing, her life’s passion was to point others to the love of Jesus Christ. She loved Jesus, her family, friends, and church family of Eastanallee Baptist fiercely!
In addition to her father, she is survived by her faithful husband of 36 years and fellow retired educator, Larry Lane, her daughter Lindsey (John) and precious granddaughters Melody and Madelyn Witten, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and her son Kevin Lane, of Riceville. She is also survived by her brother Steve (Kay) Murphree of Murfreesboro and their children Steven (Kelsey), Melissa, Daniel, and Anna, along with Larry’s sister Teresa (Bobby) Fulcher of Oak Ridge and their children Russell and Katherine.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at Eastanallee Baptist Church in Riceville, with a Celebration of life service immediately following at 7 p.m. The graveside service will occur on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Eastanallee Baptist Church Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Russell Fulcher, Steven Murphree, Daniel Murphree, Bill Matthews, Phil Odishio, Jeff Combs, Greg Hutsell, and Lee Parkison. Honorary pallbearers are Larry (Hoby) Toomey, Rick Hicks, Ronnie Creasman, Tanner Hutsell, Clinton Davis, Rusty Shultz, Lee Brown, Bill Curtis, Richard Burke, Curtis Womack, Dennis Shell, Mike Frazier, and Lewis Teague.
The family suggests memorials be made to Eastanallee Baptist Church Building Fund or Valley Christian Academy of Eastanallee Baptist Church, P.O. Box 3148, Riceville, TN 37370; Full Circle Medical Center for Women, P.O. Box 1721, Athens, TN 37371; or Coordinated Charities of Athens, 109 Rocky Mount Rd, Athens, TN 37303.
The family wishes to thank Brig Center For Cancer Care And Survivorship in Knoxville and Amedisys Hospice in Athens for their excellent, compassionate care during Gwen’s illness, along with their family, friends, and church family for the countless meals, prayers, visits, cards, and love.
Those unable to attend may send condolences to www.laycockhobbs.com/notices/Virginia-Lane
Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home of Athens is honored to serve the family of Virginia Gwen Lane.
Dear Larry and Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Gwen was such a dear lady, and I thought the world of her as a teacher. She was always positive and upbeat. I was not able to attend the funeral because our daughter had our first grandson in GA. There were complications (all is fine now), and we had to basically live in GA since April to help babysit.
David Stiles Aug 21 2019 12:00 AM
Dear Lane family, I'm so sorry for your loss. Gwen sounds like a lady who was well loved. But you can see Gwen again. The promise is found in Acts 24:15. It says: "And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection."
A.Z.B. May 27 2019 12:00 AM
Thinking of all of the family of the Beautiful and precious Gwen Lane, great lady, prayers and sympathy for all!!
Helen Stephens May 24 2019 12:00 AM
Thinking of you all and wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Becky and Mitchell Bryant May 16 2019 12:00 AM
We are so terribly sorry for your loss!! Keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Tracy, Angela, and Nolan Brown May 15 2019 12:00 AM
Our thoughts are with your entire family, Kevin. We were so grieved to hear about the death of your mom. I know how very much you love her and she, you. We love you.
Chris and Penny Stewart May 14 2019 12:00 AM
My sympathy to you all!
Ann Dodson May 14 2019 12:00 AM
May God's richest blessings be upon the entire family as you experience the loss of your wife,mother, grandmother, sister and friend! Dorothy and I will be praying for each of you this week as you say goodbye to this loved one! She lived a full and rich life, but not nearly as many years as we wished! May her soul rest eternally with her Lord!
Joe and Dorothy Brothers May 14 2019 12:00 AM
My thoughts, prayers and love are with the entire family. We grieve for your loss but also know heaven gained a precious soul.
Margie Pelley May 14 2019 12:00 AM
You are in our prayers
Barbara Howard and family May 14 2019 12:00 AM