Retired Army Sergeant Major Larry O’Dell Lane went to be with our Lord on December 23, 2014.
His death was natural but unexpected and he will be missed by all who knew him. He was born on November 2, 1948 to Clinton O’Dell Lane and Margaret Marie Myler-Lane (both deceased).
Larry is survived by his wife of 45 years, Goldie Lane; his sons, Christopher O’Dell, Patrick Brian, Matthew Corey, Andrew Casey; his grandson Dylan O’Dell; and his sisters, Ann Smith, Sandra Lane, Diane Lane and Louise Lane-Haury.
Memorial services will be held 11:00am on Friday, January 2, 2015 at McCalley Funeral Home in Adel, Iowa. Burial with full military honors will immediately follow at Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter. Family will greet friends from 9:00-11:00am prior to services on Friday.
Larry joined the Army during the Vietnam conflict on April 24, 1967. After serving two tours in Vietnam, Larry volunteered for, but was declined, a third tour when he was informed by the Army that “No, you have done your duty”. Thereafter Larry returned to the States and on December 6, 1969 married his long-time sweetheart, Goldie Stafford.
Being an honorable man of intense patriotism, Larry had decided to make a life career in service to his country. He retired in 1994 after serving 27 years. His assignments took him (and his family) to several states and overseas. He accumulated numerous medals and accolades (Larry never bragged on himself, but these were found in his footlocker and it is possible we missed a few): Air Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Achievement Medal (two times), Army Commendation Medal (seven times), Army Service Ribbon, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Marksmanship Badge Rifle/M-16, Good Conduct Medal (eight times), Humanitarian Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (two times), National Defense Service Medal (two times), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (four times), Overseas Service Bar (three times), Overseas Service Ribbon (two times), Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Palm), Service Stars (six times) and the Vietnam Service Medal.
In 1981, his military service extended to being a Military Technical Advisor and Extra on the movie, “Stripes”, with Bill Murray (a story in itself). In the screen version, he was in several scenes – a personal favorite was when he was calling cadence for the troops marching across the screen.
He received a certificate from the Army, thanking him for keeping the “true” military scenes authentic.
Larry was much loved in the community and active in local events. You would see him driving his dune buggy in the Corn Festival parade and displaying his custom VW’s at car shows. For years, he was a participant in RAGBRAI, riding across the state of Iowa for seven days on a bicycle.
He was admired and respected beyond what his family even knew and we thank his Army friends for creating the “Larry O Lane Memorial Page” on Facebook (some of the stories made us laugh as we visualized Larry saying/doing what was mentioned).
The page creator said, “His leadership and guidance inspired us all. He set the standard and was the NCO that we all strived to be. If the Army were to create a recruiting poster of a model paratrooper and leader, Larry Lane would be the natural choice. Thank you for your service to our great country and your contribution to shaping our lives. Rest in Peace.”
Condolences for the family can be left on the McCalley website.
[Updated] – 12.30.2014
There will be a Remembrance Celebration with lunch at the Raccoon Valley Community House in Adel, Iowa (11th & Main) following the ceremony at the cemetery. This info was not in the obituary at www.mccalleyfuneralhome.com.
Mc Calley Funeral Homes
735 S. 14th St,
Adel, IA. 50003
Phone: (515) 993-4240