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Joyce Elaine Lane

December 26, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back -- through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others -- at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Joyce Elaine Lane, who died Dec. 9 at the age of 71. Her obituary was published in the Dec. 11 edition of The Herald-Mail.

In the early days of the Community Rescue Service (CRS) in Hagerstown, there were no paid positions like there are now. Volunteers ran the organization, which provided medical care and transport to the ailing and injured.

Wanting to contribute to that mission, Joyce Elaine Purdham (Lane) gave at least 12 hours a week of her time as a dispatcher to CRS, which then was on East Franklin Street.

"She pulled a lot of duty, especially in the daytime, when help was hard to find," said Al Lane, who first spotted his future wife in 1957.

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"Joyce worked at a store called Carl's Sundries on Salem Avenue at High Street," Al said. "That's where I first met her."

Her winning ways and fun-loving nature earned Joyce many, many friends who remembered her through the years.

"All the kids who came in there remembered her," Al said.

Joyce volunteered at CRS between 1960 and 1968. Al also was a member of CRS then, which helped further their relationship. The couple married in 1967.

While Joyce and Al were volunteers, she organized the CRS bowling league, which disbanded in the 1980s. The members first bowled on Dual Highway and later at Long Meadow Bowl until it closed.

Friend Phyllis McCleaf said she met her husband at CRS.

"Later, Joyce and Al started coming to our house at Christmas -- it was a long tradition," Phyllis said.

Even last year when Joyce was ill, she came to the holiday celebration bearing gifts and food. Actually, Al and Phyllis made a list of what Joyce always brought and made sure everything got there.

"Joyce always fixed the big ham," Phyllis said.

Last Christmas, Phyllis took on that task for her longtime friend.

"I'll have a ham this year, too." she said.

Phyllis' grandson, Grayson, 9, had an interesting reaction when he learned of Joyce's death on Dec. 9.

"She was 'our Joyce' -- I always thought she was related to us," Grayson said.

When Joyce wasn't volunteering at CRS or cooking at home, she held a number of jobs over the years. She worked at McCrory's downtown for a while along with time spent at Sears, Londontowne and Sheetz.

She also enjoyed bingo, playing with Phyllis at the Funkstown Fire Hall and at several different organizations around Hagerstown.

At her funeral, Phyllis said the Rev. Shawn Bushman spoke from the heart about Joyce and her recent pledge to follow Jesus and his teachings.

"Joyce was baptized as a little girl, but she said she never understood what that was all about," Al said.

So in August, Joyce was baptized again at the Western Maryland Hospital Center, where she had been residing since January.

When the Lanes and the McCleafs gather this holiday season, Joyce certainly will be on their minds and in their hearts.

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