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Bill Lane, publisher, philanthropist, Portola Valley fan, dies at age 90

Original post made on Aug 2, 2010

Bill Lane, a member of Portola Valley's first Town Council, the town's first mayor, and a philanthropist, longtime environmentalist, former ambassador to Australia and perhaps Portola Valley's most ardent and biggest fan, died surrounded by his family at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, at Stanford Hospital.
[Web Link ==B ● Bill Lane celebrates 90th birthday.==]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 2, 2010, 10:10 AM

Comments (7)

Posted by Dara
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Aug 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Bill Lane personified a true American hero. He saw where help was needed and offered it. He saw where improvement was warranted and set about making it happen. He saw our communities as a place to serve the body politic and to lend all he could to ensure fair practices and policies. His warm smile and kind manner will be missed. His wise countenance and philanthropic endeavors embody the spirit of this generous man.

Posted by Diane Hawks
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Aug 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Bill Lane was the nicest man and well known Cowboy I've ever known. He had a heart the size of Texas and was very generous and caring. I'm so fortunate that I was able to work for him and Jean caring for their horses for so many years. We had some great times including the Red Barn Festival. I am saddened to hear about his passing. I will never forget what he taught me and the times we spent together. He will be missed very much.

Posted by Colleen Hamilton
a resident of another community
on Aug 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

The news of Bill Lane's passing is shocking to me for I truly believed he would live forever. I worked for him and with him at Sunset Magazine for 13 years. In the continuing years after I was fortunate enough to have him in my life in many other ways. He was my dear, dear friend. I'll always remember the singular Sunset rose he would place randomly on our desks before anyone showed up to work in the mornings. And the time he had my whole family come and spend a day at Cascade Lake where he taught my boys how to water ski. He was in that boat with them all day long. Or the day he told me he was happy I worked for him. The summer parties for the employees were unbelievable. Nothing was too good for us. There will never be another employer that shared his love and caring for his staff like Bill Lane. It was a family environment and he saw to it that it stayed that way. He was a father, mentor and friend to all of us. Those 13 years were the happiest years of my entire working career. I shall never forget him and all the good he did in his lifetime. I send my love to Jean, Brenda and the rest of the family. May God bless you all.

Posted by Ruth Peterson
a resident of another community
on Aug 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

What a grand man Bill was. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar and did so much to help the environment. He surprised Sustainable San Mateo County with a generous gift a few years ago and continuously helped many organizations in this and other ways. His good works in the community have had a significant impact and will be remembered always. He was kind and willing to lend an ear and advice when asked.

Both he and his brother, Mel, whom he always included in his talks about their environmental role locally, in California and beyond, were true Pioneers following a family tradition.

Bill will be sorely missed in our world.

Posted by Earle Jones
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Aug 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm

One small nit to pick. My recollection is that, although Bill Lane received the most votes for Portola Valley Town Council after incorporation, he chose not to serve as Portola Valley's first mayor. That went to Nevin Hiester, a physicist /physical chemist at SRI (then Stanford Research Institute.)
Can anyone confirm this? My 79-year-old memory ain't what it used to be!


Posted by David Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Aug 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm

David Boyce is a registered user.

Bill Lane was the first mayor of Portola Valley but it was ceremonial, for just 20 minutes, he told me. He had too much else going on to devote himself to being a mayor, too.

For the rest of his term, he was vice mayor under Mr. Heister.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 26, 2017 at 10:24 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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