Mother Ann L. Lane was born April 2, 1925 to Eugene McDaniel and Mary McDaniel (nee Jones) in Mexia, Texas. She was the youngest of five children.
She accepted Christ at a young age and attended the Union Baptist Church in Mexia, TX under the leadership of Pastor Whittfield.
Mother Lane attended grade school and high school in Mexia, Texas; and as a young lady, she worked for her family-owned business, Mamie Carol’s Soul Food Restaurant. While in Texas, she gave birth to her daughter, Lola M. McDaniel.
Mother Lane moved to Joliet, Illinois in 1950 and joined Mt. Zion Baptist Church and was baptized by the late Pastor J.W. Hill and also served under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. Isaac Singleton, Sr. She continued to serve faithfully for 51 years and assisted with the culinary ministry. In 2001, she joined True Tabernacle Christian Fellowship Church under the leadership of Apostle George R. Kimbrough and her granddaughter, Pastor Bonita Kimbrough. In 2010, Mother Lane joined Victory Cathedral Worship Center, under the leadership of Pastor Smokie Norful and has been a victory walker and served on the GYA Ministry (which includes, feeding the residents at Mary Crest Village every second Tuesday of the month) and the Mothers’ Ministry. Mother Lane loved her pastor and his family and the entire church family. She would often just walk around the sanctuary praising God with her tambourine. She would be right there during any special prayer request and would pray and break out singing an old Dr. Watts.
Mother Lane married Lester Lane, Sr. on May 24, 1960 and to this union, one son was born, Lester Lane, Jr. who preceded her in infancy.
Mother Lane moved to Joliet to be with her brother, Eugene McDaniel. After a short time, she began working at a local restaurant and was inspired to become an entrepreneur. In 1954, she brought her Texan heritage and opened her own business, Southtown Restaurant, located on South Chicago Street in Joliet, Illinois. She was best known for her sweet potato pies, cat fish and fried chicken. Mother Lane operated this business Tuesday through Saturday and her first employee was Eddie B. Edwards. This working relationship cultivated a mother/daughter relationship for years to come. After being opened for three years, she decided to do things differently. She then opened Ann Lane’s Catering Service and has continued the legacy of catering even until the day God called her home. She had the world’s famous, corn bread, dressing, desserts, potato salad, pies, just to name a few.
Mother Lane enjoyed praising God, traveling, modeling the runway, sewing, shopping, dancing, gardening, horseback riding, bike riding, painting, being pampered at the nail salon, and most of all, being a servant to the people of God.
Mother Lane was recognized by the Who’s Who Organization for her culinary abilities. She loved dressing in her matching suit, accompanied with the all the trimmings. She also was a hairdresser and practiced mostly on her granddaughters, leaving curls that lasted two weeks, as well as handling a mean pressing comb. Mother Lane also made her granddaughters model the clothes she made without patterns. She always taught her grands proper etiquette, standing, sitting, and eating properly. She also owned and managed rental property.
Mother Lane went home peacefully to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 28, 2017. She is preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Mary McDaniel; son in infancy, Lester Lane, Jr.; her siblings, Johnnie C. “J.C.” McDaniel, Emma Lee McDaniel-Wharton, Eugene McDaniel, and James McDaniel; sisters-in-law, Gussie McDaniel and Birdie McDaniel; great-grandson, Anthony Byrd; and her beloved dog, Princess.
Left to celebrate her life and legacy is her loving and devoted daughter and son-in-law, Lola M. (Robert L.) Gilmore of Joliet, IL; five grands, Gwenda D. Williams of Bolingbrook, IL; Bonita (George) Kimbrough, Lamarris Creal, Deidre A. (Terry) Morris, and Patricia A. Hill, all of Joliet, IL; 12 great-grandchildren; 26 great-great-grandchildren; five great-great-great-grandchildren; devoted nephews, Eugene “Jr.” McDaniel, Wayne McDaniel and Darnell (Emma) McDaniel; devoted nieces, Betty Brown and Gloria McDaniel; special friends; Eddie B. Edwards, Pearlean Spights, Annie M. Betts, Ceola Edmond and Dorothy Vidales; special godsons, Kenneth Edwards, Sr. and Alton Williams; extended grandchild, Sandra (Michael) Steward; and many other relatives and friends.