Marilyn “Jeanett” Lane was born June 11,1932 in her grandparents farm house southeast of Beaver, OK to Leonard and Marie McCune Lane. While still a baby, she moved to Forgan with her parents and older brother, Keith.
Jeanett’s father, like many others, worked several jobs trying to support his family during the depression. Some of those jobs included being a barber, delivering ice, working as a guard at the air base in Liberal, KS and helping out on his parents’ farm. Large gatherings for Sunday dinner were very important to her family as they alternated between each of the grandparents’ homes. A fond memory for Jeanette was the softball field in her parents’ backyard which always drew a crowd and provided much entertainment for the children in Forgan.
At the age of 9, while attending a revival, Jeanett accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was baptized at the Forgan Baptist Church. She enjoyed attending GA’s while in grade school and later participated in the Methodist Church MYF since the Baptist Church didn’t have a youth group.
During her high school years Jeanett was very busy playing the snare drum in the first Forgan High School Band. She also participated in vocal, basketball, softball and speech. On one occasion the speech team had the honor of attending the state competition in Oklahoma City; she recalled it was quite an experience for the students from such a small rural community.
After graduation from high school in 1950, Jeanett attended Northwestern State College in Alva. Since times were hard she worked many jobs in order to be able to attend college. Some of those jobs included being a waitress, running the school telephone switch board, working in the school cafeteria and at a downtown drug store. Having no car, she remembered that the walk to the drug store wasn’t always pleasant, especially when it was cold. One weekend each month Jeanett paid a friend two dollars for gas in order to catch a ride to Forgan to see her family. While in college she was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, was editor of the college paper and was the senior class president. She graduated from Northwestern in May 1954.
A piece of advice Jeanett might give was “never say never”. She would NEVER marry a farmer and she would NEVER marry anyone from Beaver and she would NEVER marry anyone shorter than she was! Well, you guessed it, she DID all three! One day while working in the telephone office in Forgan, a handsome fellow by the name of Gene Lee Evans came in to call his girlfriend for a date. The girlfriend couldn’t go, so he asked Jeanett out and that’s when the romance began that made her eat her words.
Lee was in the Air Force and was sent to Korea shortly after they began dating. They kept the post office busy delivering letters and enjoyed their time together when he was home on leave. Upon his discharge from the service and just one week after her college graduation in 1954, on June 6, Jeanette became Mrs. Lee Evans. They made their first home on a farm southeast of Beaver. Jeanette began her teaching career when the Beaver school superintendent, Joe Higginbotham, called her to come teach second grade while Lee farmed, ranched and “roughnecked” on the side. They had only one car so Lee took her to work each morning which meant she either arrived at school by 6:30 AM or spent time in the local café waiting until time for school to start. After school she would ride the bus home along with her students. In 1956, after teaching second grade for two years, Jeanette put her career on hold to stay at home with their new baby son, Kevin Gene. Their family was complete when their little girl, Laurie Ann, joined them in 1958.
Jeanett took a position teaching kindergarten at Beaver in 1959 and taught until 1966 at which time Lee suffered a severe stroke and needed her constant care. After five years, Jeanette was saddened by the fact that she could no longer care for Lee in the home and found care for him at a nursing home in Woodward. At this time, in 1971, she once again took the kindergarten position where she remained until her retirement in 1997.
After Lee passed away in 1981, Jeanett knew she would never have survived those difficult years if it hadn’t been for her Christian faith and the strength the Lord gave her each day. The love and encouragement she received from her children as she persevered from day to day were also such a blessing.
Jeanett’s four grandchildren Brett, Keela, Lane, and Jenna also brought much joy to her life as she shared a very special relationship with each one of them. After the grandchildren moved from Beaver, especially when they were younger, they always enjoyed coming to spend time in the summer with “Bah”. Many miles were driven as she followed the grandkids playing sports as well as other activities. One special memory she and the grandkids shared was when they were all cooking the Thanksgiving dinner and ran celery through the garbage disposal. Little did they know that a piece of celery could shut the whole kitchen down since the drain stopped up and they couldn’t run any water. “Bah” then turned to plan B and cooked hamburgers on the grill and served them with French fries. The grandkids said it was the best Thanksgiving ever!
Jeanett celebrated 56 years at Beaver First Baptist Church where she taught GA’s, Training Union, nursery, and junior high girls Sunday school. Jeanette may have retired from teaching in the public school system, but she definitely didn’t retire from the Lord’s work.
Jeanett moved to Edmond in 2012 to be closer to doctors and family.
After retiring, Jeanett enjoyed shopping, eating out, and chatting with her many friends on Facebook.
She passed in her home surrounded by family and loved ones with her feeble hands holding God’s word as she did every night of her life.
Jeanett was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother and sister-in-law.
Jeanett is survived by her son, Kevin, of Dallas, TX; daughter, Laurie Goodner and Brent Nichols of Edmond; grandchildren Brett Goodner,his wife Summer and their children Evan and Avery of Arcadia; Keela Wilson, her husband Branden and their children Aubrey and Jarrett of Arcadia; Lane Crowder, her husband Doug and their children Cooper, Creed, Chace, and Adlee of Shattuck; and Jenna Goodner of Edmond; nephews Mike Lane and his wife Patty of Florida; and Tim Lane and his wife Melissa of Kentucky. She is also survived by her many friends, former colleagues, her Church family and generations of former students.
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was or what sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.” Author Unknown
Memorials may be made to Beaver Scholarship Fund or the Beaver First Baptist Church.