Priscilla W. “Skippy” Lane


Priscilla W. “Skippy” Lane, 97, died March 8, 2019, in Bar Harbor. She was born March 17, 1921, in Malden, Mass., the daughter of Samuel and Margaret (Patch) Walker. She grew up in Marblehead, Mass., and graduated from Marblehead High School in 1939. A lover of sports, she particularly enjoyed tennis, field hockey and gymnastics. So she chose to continue her education at Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation (Sargent College) and graduated with a BS degree in 1943.

A position of assistant teacher of physical education at Scripps College and a graduate opportunity at Claremont University sent her to Claremont, Calif., in 1943. In 1944, her best friend at Boston University, Richard Lane, became Lt. Richard S. Lane. He had just finished the Army Air force Navigation School at San Marcos, Texas. They were married in San Marcos in August 1944. In August 1945, Lt. Lane was the navigator of a B25 bomber that was to clear the skies for the B52 bomber the Enola Gay, carrying the bomb for Hiroshima. Unfortunately the B25 was lost with all members over Kyushu, Japan.

Following the loss of her husband she accepted a position of teaching physical education, which included managing the skiing program at Colby Sawyer College in New London, N.H. After four years there she returned to school at the University of California at Berkeley and completed her MA degree in physiology in 1950. In 1951, she took a position at The Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory and was one of slightly more than 100 employees at that time. The laboratory later became The Jackson Laboratory and the position became that of research associate.

Unable to stay away from teaching, she found that Bar Harbor had had a ski tow on McFarland Hill before the war and with the help of several former Outing Club members the old tow was restored. All during the winter of the 1950s and the early ’60s she taught skiing there on weekends to anyone, child or adult, who wanted to enjoy the sport.

She and a college friend, Suzanne Wood, built a house in Northeast Harbor and she lived there until 1971 when she took her mother to live with her in Seal Harbor.

For several years in NEH she served on the Mount Desert School Committee during the traumatic change from three small high schools to the Island High School.

There were many activities that she enjoyed in and one in particular was spending time with early Sierra Club members and paddling canoes on many of Maine’s beautiful rivers. She also traveled with the Appalachian Mountain Club on many of its hiking trips to various countries of the world.

However, she was a devoted worker at The Jackson Laboratory and as a physiologist found that research with the mutant mice was a fascinating career. In her 56 years as a research person she has been an author or cited author on at least 40 scientific publications between 1955 and her retirement in 2007.

She was predeceased by her brother, Benjamin Ames Walker of Haley, Idaho, in 2013. She is survived by her sister, Beverly Ann Wood of Bristol, N.H., two nieces, Sharon I. and Eleanor Burns of Haley, Idaho, and by four nephews, Bradford W. Wood of Winnsboro, S.C., Lester A. Wood of Montpelier, Va., Kenneth O. Wood of Sanbornton, N.H., and Benjamin Ames Walker Jr. of Haley, Idaho.

She had a very wonderful companion who lived next door and managed many of the daily household tasks, Alan Silverman, who lived with his wife, Mary, in Seal Harbor. With this arrangement she was able to remain in her home until 2015 when she started a new chapter in her life by moving into an apartment at Birch Bay Village Retirement Community.

A special thank you to the staff at MDI Hospital, third floor med surgery and ICU, for the wonderful and compassionate care given to her.

Private burial services will take place at a later date.

Memorial donations in memory of Skippy may be made to The Seal Harbor Library, P.O. Box 135, Seal Harbor, ME 04675.

Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at



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