8.31.2015 by James White NorthWest Liberty News
On August 30, 2015, this cruel, evil world became just a shade darker as my friend, Bobby Lane “gave up the Ghost “ and passed away just after midnight. In my lifetime, I cannot say that I have ever met anyone like Bobby, for he was truly one-of-a-kind. When I think of the lives he has blessed, including those of mine and my family, I feel like the Flathead Valley is, no doubt, poorer because of his passing. In a world of fraud and deception, Bobby Lane was the real thing.
From almost the day that I arrived in Montana over 3 ½ years ago, Bobby and I became fast friends. I met Bobby my first full day in Kalispell, and left our initial meeting pondering his offer to open his home for myself and my family, as we had no place to live, no job and no friends. As God’s timing is perfect, He put Bobby in our lives at just the right moment.
I accepted Bobby’s offer, and we spent the next 6 or 7 weeks living with him, dog and all, in his home near Creston, Montana. For many, many nights, as Bobby sat in his recliner and I tended the fire, we would talk for hours after my wife and daughters retired for the evening. I quickly realized that Bobby Lane was a man who possessed great wisdom, and I became a sponge. At times, Bobby would get on a topic that particularly agitated him (most of the time it was the failure of modern church leadership) and he would rant to me for 30 minutes, without pause. He had a remarkably sharp mind for someone in his eighties, and I relished the education that Bobby gave me on a nightly basis.
Bobby Lane was not one of those who spewed Biblical advice while warming a pew. On the contrary, as Bobby lived what he spoke each and every day. Bobby was “kingdom-minded,” as evidenced by his tireless work to spread the Gospel, and to wake up the church. Let’s not forget his 30+ years of service as a prison minister; a position that placed Bobby in front of thousands of inmates, some of which turned their hearts around because God placed Bobby Lane in their lives. Bobby also physically mailed hundreds of newsletters that he would pen each month, many of which were intended to find the mailboxes of the same inmates he ministered to while at the jail. I could go on and on…
During Bobby’s last days, he was moved out of his home into a facility that could provide 24-hour care. Although my wife visited him , and I called on the phone, I couldn’t bring myself to go see him languish in a facility…it was just too much for me. So the last time I saw Bobby alive, he was sitting in his chair, the same chair in which he sat on so many nights and schooled me about life, and that’s the way I want to remember him. To know Bobby Lane was to love Bobby Lane, for he was that kind of guy. Goodbye, Bobby. I will surely see you again some day.
While Bobby was still healthy, I recorded a few short videos of him outlining topics that he was covering, at that time, in his newsletter. Although there are only 3 recordings, they are all gems, in my opinion. So as a tribute to my dearly departed friend, Bobby Lane, I have included links below to the recordings done in my home, just outside of Kalispell, Montana.