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Leona E. Lane

Leona E. Lane

SOUTH BEND, IN: Leona E. Lane, 91, passed away December 11, 2012 in South Bend.

Leona was born on September 1, 1921 in Marion, Ohio to Harrison and Anna (Uncapher) Shaffstall. She was preceded in death by five sisters, Anna Jean Shaffstall, Caryl Bauer, Virginia Tone, Rachel Shaffstall and Mary Dowler; one brother, Everett Shaffstall; and one grandson, Joseph Sullivan.

Leona is survived by her daughter, Ann Sullivan; son-in-law, Michael Sullivan; and three grandchildren, Ryan Faist, Connor Sullivan and Alex Sullivan, all of South Bend.

The third youngest of seven children, Leona grew up in the small town of Nevada, Ohio. On her eighteenth birthday, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, marking the first day of World War II. As many men were drafted to fight overseas, and America entered a labor shortage, Leona accepted a factory position at Universal Cooler. It was there she was asked out on a date by coworker Thomas F. Lane.

It didn't take long before Thomas and Leona fell in love. They married on July 5, 1947, in a small church, marking the beginning of a new chapter in her life - and one that she would forever cherish.

The newly married Mr. and Mrs. Lane moved to Elizabeth, Pennsylvania to start a life together in post-World War II America. On July 6, 1954, the day after their seventh wedding anniversary, they gave birth to a little girl, Ann Sullivan (Lane).

In 1959, Leona and her family moved back to Ohio, where they lived for six years before Thomas passed away unexpectedly, leaving Ann fatherless at just 15 years old.

Determined to provide a good life for her daughter, Leona sought a career change and completed training to serve in the Internal Revenue Service. She remained there until she retired in 1987, having worked her way up to audit management. After retiring, Leona moved to South Bend to spend the rest of her life near her daughter and grandchildren.

Leona will always be remembered for her loyalty, compassion and love for the Ohio State Buckeyes. She was a soldier to those she cared about, and made the world a better place by putting others before herself time and time again. Today, 43 years after her husband passed away, she and Thomas are finally reunited in heaven, alongside her sisters, brother and parents.

Out of respect for her wishes, Leona's family will host a celebration of her life on Friday, December 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at her daughter's home in Granger.

Contributions in memory of Leona may be offered to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, located at 1021 Manchester Drive in South Bend.

Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel & Southlawn Cremation Services are assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the Lane family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.

Published in the The Marion Star on Dec. 14, 2012
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