Michael Don Lane, a long-time Bandon resident, passed away in his home during the Perseid meteor shower on August 14, 2021 at the age of 72.
Michael was born in Auburn, WA in 1949 to Kenneth DeLyle Lane and Margaret Lenore (Rowley). He was known through childhood as being good-natured but stubborn and mischievous. Though he proudly engineered a TPing of the Space Needle in 1966 and was voted class clown, he had a fine-tuned moral compass his entire life.
Mike graduated from Auburn HS in 1967 and went to work for Northern Pacific Railroad before enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1968 during the Vietnam War. He was trained as a USCG electrician on Governors Island, New York City then spent most of his service time in the Arctic Ocean on icebreakers, crossing the Bering Sea and the Northwestern Passages before being stationed in Charleston, Oregon. He was a traveler: he circumnavigated North America, trekked South America, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, and explored the U.S. in his VW van.
After the Coast Guard, Mike briefly returned to Washington and his railroad job before giving in to his love of the sea and returning to Charleston. Thus began his 50-year career as a commercial fisherman.
Mike met Martha Jean (Browning), a Bandon teacher, and they married in the marsh on their Bandon property in the spring of 1990. Mike then sold his first fishing vessel, the San Pietro, and bought the Morning Star, a troller he loved and fished for the next 31 years.
Mike and Martha had two children, Mary Lenore (30) and Mark Michael (27). Mike was a fun and kind husband and father who was always up for camping adventures and home projects.
In addition to attending his children’s activities and commercially fishing Dungeness crab and salmon, Mike served his community in many ways. He was a member of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee, a commissioner on the Oregon Salmon Commission from 1992–2002, a member of the Rules Advisory Committee for ODA and ODFW, involved with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, and a participant in derelict crab pot recovery projects. He was a member of Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Whale Entanglement Working Group, was a member of the nonprofit Southern Oregon Ocean Resource Coalition, and was passionate about caring for the ocean¬—he spoke with students, took researchers out on the ocean, and routinely donated unique marine specimens to the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology and the Charleston Marine Life Center.
He was a birder, skier, hiker, kayaker, and guitar player. He became a disc golfer later in life and played the Bandon course near daily with “the geezers” who also help maintain the course for others.
Mike is survived by his wife Martha, son Mark Lane, daughter and son-in-law Mary Lane and Craig Minkler, three-year-old grandson Emmett Birch Minkler, aunt Barbara Wiggins, dear sister Sandy Lane, brother-in-law Bruce Rooney, niece Molly Rooney, close cousin Tim Heacox, brother-in-law John Browning, and many more friends and family. A celebration of life will be held at the Lane residence when it is safe to do so.
In the end, we all become stories, and Mike Lane left behind wonderful ones for those who knew and loved him. A special man gone too soon but, somehow, still here.
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