School 14


Mary Winston (Evans) Lane

1923 - 2021



Mary Winston Evans Spilman Lane was born in Middlesboro, KY on October 10th, 1923.  She went to be with The Lord on Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 at the age of 97. She had a long prosperous life, and her legacy will live on through the students she taught.

In her lifetime she was an alumnus from Middlesboro High School, Eastern Kentucky University and Rolla Missouri University, where she received her master’s degree. Her first job was at Oak Ridge in The Manhattan Project, she went on to do research for 10 years at the University of California in Berkeley. She returned to Middlesboro, KY to teach chemistry and physics in her community at Bell County High School, Middlesboro High School, J. Frank White Academy, and also in Ohio for 10 years.

In April of 1997, she received Teacher of the Year from the State of Kentucky and was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Eastern Kentucky University. She was a long-time member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International which promoted women in education. She loved to sew, crochet, quilt, embroider and travel. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Middlesboro, KY.

She is preceded in death by her father, Shelton Evans; mother, Rena Ward Evans; brother, Shelton T. Evans; first husband, Mark Spilman; and second husband, Richard Lane.

She is survived by the following members of her family:

Daughter, Barbara Spilman Cox Partin

Son, John (Joyce) Lane,

Grandson, Lige Russell “Rusty” (Tracy) Cox

Granddaughters, Veronica “Ronnie” Cox (Clayton) Moyers, and Cara Lane

Great-grandchildren, Sarah Cox, Craig (Danielle) Moyers, and Shelby Moyers

Great-great-grandson, Thomas Moyers

As well as a host of nephews and cousins that will miss her dearly.

Graveside service for Mary Winston Evans Spilman Lane will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at Green Hills Memorial Gardens in Middlesboro, KY with Rev. David King presiding. All family and friends are welcome to attend.

All mandated Covid-19 regulations, including masks and social distancing, will be observed.

Cawood Funeral Home in charge of all arrangements.

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Cawood Funeral Home

112 South 21st Street, Middlesboro, KY

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Abigail Rains

April 15, 2021 8:18 PM

It is rare that a teacher will teach a student and then teach that student’s child but that is what happened. My mother had Mrs. Spilman and I had Mrs. Lane - we did not realize it until we talked about our chemistry teacher working on the Manhattan Project did we realize we had both been blessed to have her as a teacher. What a wonderful long life and what a legacy to have touched so many student’s lives.

Chaleen Haught

April 15, 2021 9:03 AM

Ms. Lane was a fantastic educator and an inspiration. She challenged you to bring your best each and every day. I loved her stories about her time at Berkeley, they inspired me to pursue the sciences in college. She was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. God Bless her beautiful family, may you be comforted during this time. 

Jessica Price

April 14, 2021 5:45 PM

Not only did she reach out and influence her own students, she gathered all of us in, and proved that neither gender nor humble beginnings had to determine one's outcome.  What an amazing life she led!  Roger and I are so sorry to hear of her passing.

Jessica and Roger Price

April 14, 2021 3:16 PM

One in a million--She was a teacher I majored in- had Chem I, Chem II, Gen. Sci, Physics. She was a superb encourager--she made all her students feel like they could do anything--she taught us beyond our years.  A tribute to her ---My Gen chem professor asked me where I went to school and who taught me--scared the bejibbies out of me and he followed with a compliment that made me melt with gratefulness for a teacher that taught so thoroughly.  I know the Lord blessed her with such drive and stamina--God bless her children and grands!!!!

Luenette Smith

April 14, 2021 2:24 PM

Some of my fondest memories of my high school years were of Ms. Spilman. She was a great teacher. Spent many days and nights in her home during those years. Will never forget her. Luenette Barnett Smith

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