Obituary of James Ellwood Lane
Master Sergeant James Ellwood Lane was born on August 13, 1933. His proud parents were Grace Lane
Johnson and James Johnson. James was the eldest of 4 children, brothers Leroy Lucas and Herman
Johnson and sister, Shirley Marie Ford (née Johnson).
Lane and his brother Herman were gifted artists and loved to play baseball on Pine Street. Pine Street is
located near the famous Lexington Market.
Lane attended Baltimore City Public Schools. In 1951, he enlisted in the United States Air Force(USAF).
He served his country in the Korean War. Lane was stationed at Air Force bases including George Air
Force Base in Victorville, California and Kinley Field on Bermuda. Lane was an agile and awarding boxer
who won a base wide championship at George Air Force base.
One day he saw his future wife, Gloria Joan Griffiths. Lane offered her a ride. The journeyed together for
60 years as husband and wife. Joan predeceased him on September 5, 2019. She was born three weeks
before him in 1933. James died three weeks after her in 2019.
James and Joan married at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on Thursday, December 18,
1958. Their marriage was reported in The Royal Gazette, Bermuda's daily newspaper. The male
attendants including the ring bearer were dressed in USAF uniforms.
James and Joan set up home in Baltimore, Maryland. To their union was born Alison Velez Lane(1962),
Edwin James Lane(1964) and Rhonda Denise Lane(1965).
Among his Active Duty military highlights were enjoying President David Eisenhower's visit to Bermuda
and marching in President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's inauguration.
Lane enlisted in the USAF Reserves in 1976. In 1993, he retired from the USAF Reserves.
Master Seargeant was decorated with ribbons, certificates and newspaper articles about his dedication
to serving his country.
Civilian Career as an Electrician
James was a licensed electrician, home improvement contractor and construction company owner.
William Woodson, a cousin of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, was his mentor for a career.
Lane worked for Westinghouse, the predecessor to his Grandson Ellwood's employer, Northrop
Grumman. As a high school student, Grandson Ellwood developed an interest in engineering and earned
his college degree in Electrical Engineering.
Lane graduated from RETS. Additionally, he completed correspondence in subjects such as law,
business, Spanish and real estate. Due in part to his Mexican roommate, Senor Lane remembered
Spanish vocabulary and spoke with an impressive accent. He completed a Spanish class at Morgan State
Morgan State University
Electrician Lane worked as a member of the Physical Plant staff. Lane loved the campus and students.
Retired in late 1999 and saluted for 28 years of service in June 2000.
James and his wife Joan spent happy years as participants in the Epsilon Omega Alpha Kappa Sorority
senior eating Together, they learned from Bible Study and leaned during Line Dancing. James and Joan
loved modeling for the Ivy Center's Annual Spring Fling.
Community Activities and Awards
Lane was granted membership as a Free Mason in Bermuda, May 1959.
During James' community action years, Delegate Shawn Tarrant awarded him a "Beautification
Certificate", Delegate Catherine Pugh saluted him for his work on the "New Auchentoroly Terrace"
garden and Mondawmin Neighborhood Improvement Association recognized him family with a
"Longtime Resident" award.
In 2016, he was honored by New Auchentoroly Terrace Association (ATA) as "Father of the Year". That
same year, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake designated him as one of Baltimore's "Top Neighborhood
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
James was a former member of the Choral Choir, Brotherhood Choir and Senior Usher Board. He
attended church regularly until his health slowed down his pace.
Master Seargeant leaves to mourn his brother, Herman Johnson, daughter, Alison, son Edwin, daughter
Rhonda, granddaughter Arielle Moody and grandson Ellwood; nephews, Wirt Johnson, Eric Ford, Avery
Johnson; nieces, DeVora Merrick, Marsha Ford, Jessie Mae Smith (née Ford), Wanda Owens-Allen (née
Ford), and a host of great nieces and great nephews, great great nieces and great great nephews,
cousins, neighbors and friends.
Viewing hours will be Thursday, October 17th from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Services, 5151 Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore, MD. On Friday, October 18, 2019, Services for, Mr. Lane will be held 10:00 am at Bethel AME Church, 1300 Druid Hill Ave, Baltimore , MD with the family hour beginning at 9:30am.
The interment will take place at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery, Owings Mills, MD on Friday, October 18th at 1:00 pm. following services.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in name of James and Gloria Lane Fund, Daniel Payne Scholarship Committee, Bethel A.M.E. Church, 1300 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217.To send flowers to the family of James Lane, please visit Tribute Store