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Beloved Germantown band teacher who inspired students for over 45 years died from COVID-19

John Lane taught band at Germantown Middle School.

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Retired Germantown Middle School band teacher John Lane is remembered for inspiring generations of students over a career spanning 45 years. Lane died from COVID-19 on Monday, his family said. His wife Diane Lane said he lived life to the fullest and was devoted to his family and students. 

"Somebody said today ‘John Lane never worked a day in his life because he absolutely loved what he did,'" Lane said.

Former student Justin Rollen said Lane made every student excited to learn something new. 

"I was never really into band leading up to middle school or after middle school, but band was the place to be when you were at Germantown Middle," Rollen said. "It was something about Mr. Lane that just drew you in and it just filled you with warmth inside every time you were around him."

My heart is absolutely shattered tonight. Many years ago, God placed me at Germantown Middle School as an assistant band...

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Lane pushed his students to be better each day, but Rollen said he always instilled in them that being happy was most important. 

"That really resonated with me that it doesn’t always matter if you win or lose but if you’re out there having the most fun," Rollen said. That’s contagious and people around you do the same thing. He lit up a room and made it fun like nobody else."

His family is proud of the impact he has made and hopes it will live on through all who knew him. 

"He just loved life and I think he just made such an impact on the children's lives," Lane said. "That’s just something that they will always remember." 

Lane's celebration of life for those outside his immediate family will be held on May 13,2022, at Ellendale United Methodist Church.

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