Warren C. ("Bud") Lane, Jr., 97, a long time Worcester lawyer and civic leader, who successfully litigated creation of the first NOW account, passed away on Wednesday, July 14th, after a period of declining health.
He is survived by his son Corbin B. Lane, of Sterling, Massachusetts, and his grandson Joshua M. Lane and spouse Emily, of Cumberland Center, Maine.
Bud was predeceased by his wife, Cynthia Rugg Lane who passed away on April 24, 2018; his sister, Caroline Lane; his daughter Kimberly R. Lane Goddard; his son Prescott N. Lane; and his grandson Nathaniel Addison Lane.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, on Aug. 9, 1923, he was the son of Warren C. and Pauline (Newitt) Lane. He married Cynthia Rugg Lane on Aug. 11, 1951. They lived in Worcester for many years before moving to Boylston, Mass., where Bud served for several years as Town Moderator. He and Cynthia later moved to the Briarwood Community.
Bud was educated in the Leicester public schools and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy (1942). He was a graduate of Harvard College (1946) and Harvard Law School (1949). He was a Navy veteran (Lieutenant J.G.) of World War II, serving on an LST in the Pacific theater.
He began his legal career with the firm of Hartwell & Driscoll in Worcester from 1949 to 1951. He then practiced at Thayer, Smith & Gaskill, becoming a partner in 1955 at then Bowditch, Gowetz & Lane (later Bowditch & Lane) until 1977, when he founded the law firm now Lane, Greene, Murtha & Edwards. He retired in 2012.
He was an assistant District Attorney for the Middle District of Mass. from 1953-55. He was elected to the Worcester City Council for one term in 1958.
He was a member of the American Bar Association, the Worcester County (Past President) and Massachusetts (past member of the Board of Delegates) Bar Associations, and the American College of Probate Counsel.
Bud was involved with many educational institutions, including those which he attended. He was former President of the Phillips Exeter Academy General Alumni Association and former Trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy; former President of the Harvard Club of Worcester; a former Director of the Harvard Alumni Association; a former Trustee of Shepherd Knapp School; and a former Trustee of Worcester Academy. He was a long-time Trustee of Becker College (1950-1997), which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004.
He was a former Director of Consumers Savings Bank and former Director of Bank of New England-Worcester. His most famous case was as lead counsel in Consumers Savings Bank vs. Commissioner of Banks, which he successfully argued in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. This decision resulted in the NOW (Negotiable Order of Withdrawal) Account being declared legal in Massachusetts and throughout the country, offering the savings bank equivalent of a checking account to compete with commercial banks.
He was a co-founder of the International Center of Worcester; former Chair of the Voluntary Services Division of the Golden Rule Fund Campaign (United Way); former Director and Secretary of the American Red Cross; former Director of the Civic Music Association; former Director of the Legal Aid Society of Worcester; former Director of Memorial Homes for the Blind; former Advisory Board member of the Salvation Army; former Corporator of the Worcester Art Museum; and former Director of the Worcester Girls Club.
Bud joined the Worcester Rotary Club in 1952 and was a member for over 50 years. He served as President and was proud to have sponsored its first women members.
He was a founding member of the Bears & Bulls and was also a member of the Bohemians.
Bud enjoyed collecting antiques and over many years acquired an impressive collection of rare bottles. He had a strong interest in history, particularly early American history and old books on that topic. In 1989 he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.
Bud was an avid tennis and squash player and former President of the Worcester Tennis Club. Bud enjoyed boating and, for many summers, cruised the Sheepscot River and beyond from Malden Island at Five Islands, Maine.
Bud and Cynthia traveled to many parts of the world. Bud often said that his favorite trips were walking tours because he could eat well and not gain weight while on vacation. Both he and Cynthia enjoyed music and were long time patrons of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Bud's life with visiting hours on Thursday, July 22nd from 4:00pm until 6:00pm at the Callahan, Fay & Caswell Life Celebration Home, 61 Myrtle St., Worcester. Burial will be held privately at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Cynthia and Warren C. Lane, Jr. Memorial Fund at Greater Worcester Community Foundation, 370 Main Street, Suite 650, Worcester, MA 01608; email: https://www.greaterworcester.org/. Please indicate the fund name when making the gift.