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LANE, Merrell A.

LANE - Merrell A. Age 67, of the Town of Wheatfield, died Saturday, August 16, 2014, after a lengthy illness, in Strong Memorial Hospital Palliative Care, Rochester. Merrell was born August 5, 1947 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert T. and Ruth (Moore) Lane. They moved to Niagara Falls when he was three months old to open the Lane Funeral Home, Inc. Merrell graduated from LaSalle Senior High in 1965. He then attended N.C.C.C. and graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in 1967. He served as a Staff Sergeant in Vietnam in the U.S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division, where he served from January 1969 until his Honorable Discharge in August 1970. He then continued working at the funeral home until his retirement in 2010. In 1995, Merrell was asked by the Chamber of Commerce to chair a new committee, the Niagara Military Affairs Council (NIMAC) to lead the community in efforts to keep the Niagara Falls Air Base off the base closure list. He continued until stepping down last June due to his health, but remained active as Vice Chairman. He was honored by numerous community groups for the work he did in 2005 during the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure). He was chosen by former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, N.A. Schwartz, to represent New York State on his newly formed Civic Leaders group. Merrell was a 53 year member of Bacon Memorial Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder. He was a member and former District Governor of the N.Y.S. Funeral Directors Assn., a member and former President of the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Assn. and a member of the Niagara County Funeral Directors Assn., a 42 year member and former President of the N.F. Kiwanis Club, on the Board of Directors of The Salvation Army, and the Niagara Beautification Commission. He enjoyed a lifelong hobby of rocketry and was a longtime member of the National Association of Rocketry. He is survived by his wife, the former Patricia Wasley who he married February 15, 1974; two daughters, Jennifer (Richard) Overholt and Deborah (Neil) Townsend; three granddaughters, Mikayla Townsend, Leah Overholt and Lindsey Overholt; his brother, Robert T. (Kay) Lane, Jr.; two brothers-in-law, Robert (Debra) Pils and Richard (Debra) Pils; two nephews and five nieces and his dear friends, John and Jennifer Cooper. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Monday in the LANE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 8622 Buffalo Avenue. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday at 11 AM in Bacon Memorial Presbyterian Church, 166 - 59th Street, with Rev. Dr. O. Lee Holliday, officiating. Please assemble at church. Interment will be in Acacia Park Cemetery, Town of Pendleton.

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