Jim Lane Obituary, Death – On November 27, 2022, James Warren “Jim” Lane, age 78, of Fort Worth, Texas, passed away in a calm and tranquil manner. He was a tireless advocate for the people of his city, neighbors, Native Americans, veterans of the armed forces, and public servants in the line of duty. Jim’s devoted wife Janet, son Jake, adopted daughter Teana Milan, brother Bill Lane and his wife Marcia, two nieces, Sarah Lane Deheck and Blythe Lane Munster, two nephews, John Lane and William Lane, seven grand nephews, and cousins John Jay Joyce and his wife Martha and Gene Joyce and his wife Ann are among those who are left behind by Jim. Jim Lane was born in Uvalde, Texas, on June 4, 1944, to parents named Wesley and Glyn Lane. He spent a significant portion of his early childhood traveling to visit his grandparents who lived in north Fort Worth. He became immersed in the culture of the cowboy and also educated himself on the Cherokee people, as his grandfather had been a member of that tribe. Jim eventually fell head over heels in love with the city of Fort Worth after moving there with his family.
Jim was a brilliant man who had a deep love for all things Fort Worth. He was particularly fond of the cowboy customs, Fort Worth’s historic North Side, the Fort Worth Livestock Show, and “Molly,” the iconic longhorn that he had fought to have adopted as the city’s official symbol and had ultimately been successful in doing so. Jim was also the driving force behind the creation of the city’s nationally acclaimed Longhorn Herd, which now makes its way down Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards to the delight of millions of tourists from all over the world. Even more, he established a retirement community for the Herd’s older animals. He received his diplomas from Arlington Heights High School, Texas Christian University (Class of 1964), and Baylor School of Law. After that, Jim joined the United States Army and, after completing his education at the Advocate General’s School, he was commissioned as a Captain and served in that capacity from 1969 until 1973.
In one of his first cases for the Army, he was tasked with defending three soldiers who were accused of taking part in the My Lai massacre that occurred during the Vietnam War. Jim’s exhaustive investigation into the matter and preparation for the case resulted in all of his clients being found not guilty. After finishing his time in the army, he went back to Fort Worth and began his legal career there. In addition to that, he dabbled with getting his commercial pilot’s license and his certification as a flight instructor.
Jim, a lifelong Democrat who was also an active civil rights leader, rolled up his sleeves and got involved in the political process in Fort Worth. He committed himself wholeheartedly to the causes of his neighbors, his Native American heritage, the community he lived in, and his country. His passion led him to take up arms most frequently on behalf of those who were unable to defend themselves. And Jim was able to win most of his fights thanks to his tactical prowess, dogged determination, and a sense of humor that was as big as the state of Texas. Jim was a staunch advocate for the members and families of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association and the Fort Worth Firefighters Local 440 throughout his entire career as an attorney. A founding member of the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial was another one of his many accomplishments. His time spent in the military served as a recurring source of inspiration for him to fulfill his responsibilities back at home. Jim served as President of the Tarrant County Hospital District, President of the Tarrant County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board, Regional Vice President of the National Transportation Safety Board, President of the Fort Worth Sports Authority, Board member of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a lifelong member of the NAACP, and on dozens of other community boards throughout his career.
Jim ran for office and was successful in 1993, when he was elected to the Fort Worth City Council. He served for a total of six terms, one of which was as Mayor Pro Tem. Jim was later elected to the Tarrant Regional Water District Board in 2006, and he has served there as a tireless taxpayer steward up through this past year. In this role, he is responsible for protecting and preserving Fort Worth’s water supply for both the current generation and the generations to come. Jim has always been a strong advocate for the preservation of local history, and he recently moved his home and office into two separate North Side buildings that date back to the early 20th century. His passionate advocacy for the continued existence of the Fort Worth Cats minor league baseball team and LaGrave Field has been passed on to subsequent generations. In addition to this, Jim had a reputation for cleverly making fun of himself. When he had brain surgery in 2009, he laughed off his health issues and made light of the procedure. Ahead of the operation, Jim made a joke about how he had asked the surgeon to insert spacers in his neck so that he would grow taller. After the procedure, Jim boasted that the surgeon had commented that his skull was significantly thicker than those of any other patients he had ever seen.
Jim and Janet held their annual campfire Christmas party at their ranch to the northwest of Fort Worth. The party included campfires, barbecue, tamales, cowboys who played guitars, Indians who sang and played the drums, and Ben Tahmahkera, the great-great-grandson of a former Comanche Chief named Quanah Parker, who adopted Jim as his Comanche brother. This event was without a doubt one of the most cherished occasions for Jim and Janet. Everyone who was there now has memories that will last a lifetime. The fact that Jim was able to become Jake’s father was without a doubt the highlight of his life. Throughout the course of the previous year, he was relentless in his boasting about Jake’s accomplishments, including passing his driver’s license test, purchasing his first car, and actively participating in Opal Lee’s marches that led to Juneteenth being recognized as a national holiday. It is impossible to overstate how much love Jim has for Janet, Jake, Teana, his friends, and Fort Worth. Nor can the love that will be felt for him throughout all of eternity.