Bethena Lane, a retired Buffalo Public Schools aide, raised two sons, but she also took several other people's children under her wing.
Mrs. Lane died Saturday in Buffalo General Hospital. She was 77.
Born Bethena Goggins in Anniston, Ala., she moved to Buffalo as a child and was a 1950 graduate of Fosdick-Masten Park High School.
She went to work as a school aide in the 1960s and also helped to teach others to read, as well as tutoring those who were preparing to take the exam for their General Education Diplomas. Mrs. Lane retired in the late 1980s.
She was possessed of a very positive, hopeful and contagious personality, which especially endeared her to children, according to her son Bernard.
"She was everybody's mom," he said. "While she only raised two sons, we had 10, 12 or more other kids who were often around. If you were a stray, you weren't a stray after she got to know you."
Mrs. Lane also was a classically trained pianist and organist, having studied in her youth at the Julia Johnson School of Music on Landon Street.
Beginning at age 14, Mrs. Lane played the piano and organ during services in Church of God, 526 High St. She continued to play there for the next 50 years.
Mrs. Lane is survived by her husband of 49 years, Andrew; two sons, Bernard and Byron A.; five sisters, Birdie Staton, Priscilla Bonds, Lorraine Williams, Agazalee Blodget and Sarah Pittman, and four brothers, Lathardus, Trunnis, Douglas Goggins and Exirtis Goggins.
Funeral services will be held at noon today in Elim Christian Fellowship Church, 70 Chalmers Ave.