STATESBORO, Ga. -- Mrs. Billie Turner Lane, age 91, died Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at the Ogeechee Area Hospice Inpatient Facility in Statesboro. Born in Millen, Georgia, in 1922, she was the daughter of the late Charles Matthew Turner and Willie Womack Turner. She moved with her family to their farm in Garfield, Georgia, in 1936.
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As a fourth grader, Billie won a trip to Washington, D.C., where she performed for President Herbert Hoover. She recalled, ""I played 'Love Dreams' by A.L. Bryan on the piano. I sent Daddy a postcard, asking if I could spend a dollar to have my picture made with the president. It was during the Great Depression, and a dollar was a lot of money.""
In 1929, she asked to take violin lessons. Her father withdrew the $100.00 in her account and purchased the violin. ""The bank closed the next day,"" she recalled. Another fabulous prize took winner, Billie Turner, to the World's Fair in Chicago. She was a fifth grader and her instrument was the violin. Today it hangs on her music wall.
After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Mrs. Lane went to Georgia Teacher's College for further study, and it was there that she met a young man who worked in the office of the school secretary -- her future husband -- Curtis Lane. She was selected as one of the eight most beautiful ladies on campus by a famous designer/illustrator of the day, McClelland Barclay. In 1942, Billie became May Day Queen. The '42 GTC Reflector records her active, collegiate life.
While serving during World War II, Billie and Curtis married. Following the war, Dr. and Mrs. Lane returned to Statesboro so that he could take up his late father's dental practice.
She was a member of the Statesboro First Baptist Church, where she served as pianist and violinist during the early years. In 1968 she was asked to assume the organist's position at First Baptist for a year and in 1969 was asked to assume the position permanently. When she retired in 2005, she was named church organist emerita, having served her church as pianist, violinist and organist for almost 60 years. In addition to her church duties, Billie returned to Georgia Southern and earned an additional degree in organ performance in 1974.
Mrs. Lane was involved in numerous church programs and musicals, but her greatest joy was taking part in the veterans' services and also being the one to begin Christmas Eve Services at First Baptist, starting in December of 1968.
She was an active member of several civic organizations, garden clubs and bridge clubs, as well as a member of the organist guild.
Family, church and music were the most important to her.
Mrs. Lane was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Dr. Curtis Lane; and a daughter, Charlotte Lane Brannen.
Surviving are two sons and daughters-in-law, Julian Curtis Lane Jr. and Vicki of Metter and Billy and Nancy Lane of Statesboro; a grandson and his wife, Matt and Ashley Lane of Nashville, Tenn.; four great-grandchildren, Grace Elizabeth, James Turner "J.T.", Annie and William Matthew ""Will"" Lane, all of Nashville, Tenn.; two step grandchildren, Ryan Powell and Meredeth Carroll Coburn; a step great-granddaughter, Lillian Jane; and a son-in-law, Wiley Brannen of Statesboro.
Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro.
The funeral service will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Statesboro First Baptist Church with Dr. John Waters officiating.
Her body will lie in state for a family time in the ""Historical Sanctuary"" from 10-10:30 a.m. During this time, Shelia McKee will play selections on Billie's Austin organ.
Interment will be in the Eastside Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be the Rev. Julian Ward, Dr. Paul Whitlock, Bob Olliff, Charles Chandler, Clark Ward, Allen Reeves and Alan Tyson.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Celebration Choir and the Senior Choir of First Baptist.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Statesboro First Baptist Church Organ Fund, 108 North Main Street, Statesboro, Ga. 30458; or Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, Ga. 30459.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com.
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home of Statesboro is in charge of the arrangements.
Statesboro Herald, March 1, 2014
Sign the Legacy online guestbook at www.statesboroherald.com.
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home
502 Miller Street Ext.
Statesboro, GA 30458
Published in Statesboro Herald from Feb. 28 to Mar. 8, 2014