Tom Lane Obituary

Tom began his ministry in 1955 as a student pastor in Lavina while attending Rocky. He received degrees from Rocky Mountain College, a master’s degree of Divinity from Boston School of Theology and a master’s degree in Special Education from Eastern Montana College. His philosophy. “You can always learn something!”

During seminary in Boston, he served as an English-speaking minister at the Finnish Lutheran Church in Worcester, Massachusetts. Between seminary years he also served as a student interim at Ruby Valley Parish (Twin Bridges and Sheridan, Montana.) In Sheridan, he met and married Judy Mortnesen. They returned to Boston to finish seminary and their son Mark was born. His first appointment was at Culbertson-Bainville Parish where his daughter Rebecca was born. His ministry continued as he received appointments in the following parishes: Simms-Sun River; Whitehall-Boulder-Basin; Carbon County Parish (Bridger, Belfry, Fromberg, Edgar); Fort Benton-Carter; Grace United Methodist Church (Billings); one term as Big Horn District Superintendent; then retiring from Lander, Wyoming United Methodist Church in 2001.

Tom’s feelings for pastoral care developed early which led into specialized ministry in his parishes. Time was spent in hospital, nursing home, and shut-in’s visitation. He was part-time protestant chaplain at both the Montana State Children’s Center in Twin Bridges, Boulder River School and Hospital. He served as chaplain for the Great Falls Civil Air Patrol. In Billings, he completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through the Billings Deaconess Hospital which included being available at both Deaconess and St. Vincent Hospital as an extra status chaplain. He served Big Sky Hospice by being student chaplain during one unit of CPE. In Lander, he was volunteer chaplain in the Little Wind Hospice. After he retired he became volunteer chaplain in Big Sky/Riverstone Hospice in Billings.

He was continually involved in continuing education workshops, seminars, short-term schools, including two clown, mime, puppet and dance conferences. “Tom enjoyed life whether in nature or surrounded by family and friends. He had many interests and was a packrat type collector of rocks, coins, stamps, and stuff. He enjoyed singing, writing, reading mystery novels, humor, bright socks, computer games, doing latch hook, and jigsaw puzzles.