Born Janina Maria Lysonski on August 28, 1932 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Jennie was one of 11 children of Kazimir (Charles) and Mary Dubiski Lysonski. After graduating from Pittsfield High School, she married Joseph Patrick Lane on October 25, 1952, and remained at home while he served in the US Navy during the Korean War. In 1953, their son, Joe, was born, to be followed in 1956 by daughter Margaret, and in 1958 by son Patrick. Working the night shift at Rice’s silk mill, and the day shift raising three children, Jennie was an industrious worker and a loving mother in partnership with her soul-mate, Joe.
Joe, was transferred in 1963 as a draftsman with General Electric to work with the US Space Program in Huntsville, Alabama, where Jennie made a new home for her family. Working as a pre-school teacher, she shared her nurturing skills with many more children than her own. She enjoyed occasional travel back to Pittsfield, playing bridge, helping with paper routes, and helping to get three kids into college. Square dancing in crinolines, golfing at their club across the border in Tennessee, supervising swimming pool excursions, and washing Huntsville’s red clay out of everything, Jennie always loved a chance to dance the polka.
1976 included a move from Huntsville to San Jose, CA, which became home for the next approximately 40 years. New friends, wonderful neighbors, Dungeness crab, home-grown citrus in the back yard, Lake Tahoe – Jennie became a true Californian. At age 50, she and Joe learned to snow ski so they could stay actively engaged with their grandchildren. Anchor parishioners at St. Julie’s, Jennie and Joe worked in the food pantry and were active within the parish. Jennie also loved baking and cooking in general and gently coached her beloved partner who manned the outdoor grill. She knitted hats, scarves, and personalized blankets for family members featuring their individual college colors. She would walk the 3.7 miles from home to daily Mass at St. Julie’s, until a fall on a broken sidewalk sent her to the hospital, and family pressure ended her walking routine.
In December 2013, our Lord called Jennie’s lifetime partner to his eternal home, allowing sadness and loneliness to become unwelcome parts of her daily life. She moved from their home in San Jose to Sonoma in 2016, where her daughter, Margaret, could be her neighbor-companion-buddy. Sonoma provided a new beginning of sorts, as she embraced her new home and surroundings – though never to their fullest extent, as she referred to her apartment as “the hotel”.
Three children, two daughters-in-law (Isabel Lane and Kimberly Lane), ten grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren all pray for their Mother/Grandmother/Great Grandmother’s peaceful repose, as they gather or send delegates to Jennie’s funeral Mass at 12:00 pm on Thursday, June 13, at St. Martin of Tours parish in San Jose, CA, and her interment at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery alongside her beloved Joe, at 2:00 pm.
Jennie’s long-time pastor and friend, Fr. Saju Joseph (now pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish in San Jose, CA), in collaboration with the Daughters of Charity Sisters, established a foundation to support a homeless shelter in India. Support may be offered through The Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County (https://giving.cfoscc.org/father-saju)
In her final years, Jennie’s home parish in Sonoma was an important source of strength and peace. To help Fr. Alvin Villaruel continue his mission, support may be directed to email@example.com (St Francis Solano Catholic Church, 469 3rd Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476
The Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County
777 N. First Street, Suite 490, San Jose CA 95112-6339
Project St. Francis
469 3rd Street West, Sonoma CA 95476