Donneter Elizabeth Lane

October 6, 1932May 15, 2020
Obituary of Donneter Elizabeth Lane
Donneter E. Lane: 1932-2020 Former President of the SF African American Historical Society; and former Executive Director Emeritus of SF Council of Churches… Donneter E. Lane, passed on Friday, May 15, 2020 aged 87. Born Donneter E. Dean on October 6, 1932, in Atlanta, GA to Steve Dean, Sr., and Dorothy Cox Dean, She was the first of twelve children. She confessed Christ at age 12 on Easter Sunday at the Reed Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA. Throughout her life, she maintained her faith in the Lord. With that strength and confidence, she graduated with honors from the Atlanta Public School System (i.e., E.P. Johnson Elementary School, David T. Howard Jr. High School). After high school, she matriculated at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she had aspirations of becoming a medical doctor. Later she moved to San Francisco, CA, where she attended the University of California, School of Social Work and went on to graduate from San Francisco State University with a M.A in Education. While in college, she met and got married to John Henry Lane and had two daughters, DeEtta and Gwendolyn. Although she became the first lady of Grace Baptist Church in San Francisco in 1974, her professional experience was diversified including, Director of Women and Senior Programs, Booker T. Washington Community Center, California Youth Authority; Community Director of Community Education Planning Project; San Francisco Unified School District; Field Supervisor of Early Childhood Teachers Training, San Francisco State University, Director of Summer Lunch Program, San Francisco Council of Churches, and Executive Director Emeritus of San Francisco Council of Churches. A most iconic and landmark act of benevolence by Donneter and her husband John was their leadership in coordinating the shipment and burial of over 915 members of the People’s Temple that perished at Jonestown on November 18, 1978, interred at the Evergreen Cemetery, Camden Street, in Oakland, CA. The City and County of San Francisco as well as the United States will forever be grateful for that act of benevolence and grace. After her husband’s transition in 1999, she joined the San Francisco Temple United Methodist and participated in their Senior program daily among other activities. Mrs. Lane served on the following Boards: Booker T. Washington Community Center; American Baptist Churches of the West Public Ministry; San Francisco Catholic Charities; National Council of Churches; Church World Service; San Francisco Education Funds; Bay Area Girl Scout Council; San Francisco African American Historical Society; Bayview Hunter's Point Housing Task Force and Ecumenical Council; and Madame C. Walker Home for Women and Girls. Other organizational affiliations included her leadership on the Boards of Directors of the Housing Conservation and Development Corporation; San Franciscans Seeking Consensus; Friends of San Francisco Redevelopment Agency; Church Women United; Florence Crittenden Home for Girls; San Francisco Chapter of the American Red Cross; San Francisco League of Women Voters, and O.M.I (Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside) Community Association. She traveled extensively in the United States, Korea, Japan, East Africa and South America. She received innumerable awards and commendations throughout her life, which attest to her exemplary unselfish record of personal professional and civic achievements. Mrs. Lane was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Rev. John H. Lane (1999); siblings- (four brothers) Steven Jr.(Patricia), James (Vivian), Maurice (Earnestine), William (Phyllis) Dean and (sister) Vernell Moten. She is survived by her devoted and loving daughters- DeEtta P. Lane (Richmond, TX); Gwendolyn T. Lane (Phoenix, AZ.) and siblings of Atlanta Metro Area; Catherine (Eddie), Huff, Lillia Dean, Sylvia (late Harold) Lippitt, Julma (William)Tucker, Rev. Nelson (Kathleen) Dean, Douglas (Brenda) Dean. Sister-in-Law, Mattie M. Calloway. Also, survived by a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and a devoted God-sister, Charlesetta Shipp (San Francisco, CA).

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