In Memoriam: Jean F. Lane

Jean F. (Burd) Lane of Elsmere, DE, passed away on March 5, 2019.

Jean was born in Wilmington, DE, to the late Donetta (Ciancio) Brady and Elbert F. Burd.  She was an elementary teacher at Our Lady of Fatima, Sacred Heart, and St. Elizabeth Elementary schools in Wilmington.  While teaching first grade at St. Elizabeth’s, Jean was coach of the Girls’ High School basketball team from 1971 to 1975 and led the Lady Vikings to many wins.  She was a strong proponent of girls’ sports and worked to make sure that they were treated equally.

After her long time in teaching Jean worked in construction for Greggo and Ferrara and,never one to shy away from a challenge, was part of the team that built the bridge over the Railroad Tracks on South College Avenue in Newark.

Her next career move found her working for the Recreation Department at the University of Delaware, where she was affectionately known as “Jean, Jean, the Zamboni Queen”.  

Throughout her life Jean was surrounded by a large circle of friends. She was also a devoted animal lover and had numerous pets which she deeply cared for.

Travelling was another passion for Jean, and always seemed to turn every trip into an adventure.

Jean was a long time season ticket holder for the University of Delaware Women’s Basketball Team.  She was an extraordinary athlete herself competing on numerous softball and basketball teams for many years.  In 1997 Jean qualified to participate in the National Senior Olympics and traveled to Tucson, AZ where she competed in Track and Field.  This adventure inspired her to be instrumental in founding the first Women’s Senior Softball Team in Delaware.  This team went on to Louisville, KY, in 2007 and won the National Championship with Jean on the mound!

Jean also helped to develop the Women’s Independent Over 30 Basketball League in Wilmington.  From here Jean went on to become the 2001 Softball Sportswoman of the Year.  In 2010 Jean was inducted into the Delaware Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame.  She was a board member for the Delaware Women’s Alliance For Sports and Fitness, and proud to be a member of the Delaware Rifle and Pistol Club.

Interestingly Jean was also a card carryingmember of the Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Club, and a competitor in the Punkin Chunkin Competition in Sussex County.

Jean was a very private and humble person who very quietly engaged in works of charity. Without doubt she was one of a kind, and will be sorely missed by many. Jean is survived by numerous cousins, extended family, her long time friend and caretaker, Sherri Maclary, and a host of other friends. Also, she was "Auntie Jean" to Tessa, Cameron and Nathan Falcon who brought much joy to her life.