In Howard County, Dennis Lane was an iconic individual, his friend Paul Skalny said Friday. So it's fitting that a celebration of the life and legacy of the Howard County blogger takes place at an equally iconic Columbia landmark: Merriweather Post Pavilion.
"Dennis was quintessential Columbia," said Skalny, a local lawyer and co-host with Lane of the podcast "And Then There's That..." "He was here in Columbia in its formative years, and he was active in the revitalization and redevelopment of Columbia's Town Center. It seems appropriate this will be held at Merriweather."
The public memorial is set to begin at 3 p.m. on June 4, with a social hour scheduled at 2 p.m. The event will include a photo homage and speakers paying tribute to Lane.
Lane's 14-year-old daughter, Morgan Lane Arnold, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Jason Anthony Bulmer, were indicted and charged as adults by a Howard County grand jury last week in Lane's death. Lane was stabbed to death on the morning of May 10 inside his Ellicott City home.
A private funeral has already been held for Lane. Skalny declined to comment on details about Lane's funeral, or where he was laid to rest.
Lane, 58, was a Howard County businessman, community leader and writer, who wrote a monthly column in The Business Monthly and authored the blog "Tales of Two Cities." Born in Catonsville, he was the second youngest of seven children. His family moved to Columbia, and Lane was in Wilde Lake High School's first graduating class in 1973. He then attended John Carroll University, where he majored in communications.
After college, Lane worked for the Rouse Company before starting his own commercial real estate company, and later became a senior vice president at Ryan Commercial Real Estate Services. Most recently, he worked with Lee & Associates. He served on the boards of the Columbia Foundation, the Columbia Festival of the Arts, the Columbia Business Exchange, the Howard County Chapter of the American Heart Association and the Candlelight Concert Society.
Because Lane was so involved in the community, Skalny said that while the memorial's organizers weren't sure how many people would attend, "no one would be surprised if it's 1,000-plus people."
"Dennis was Columbia at heart, but he touched so many people from so many different facets of the community," Skalny said.
"We're all just doing what we can to make it an experience that will positively honor Dennis," said Jean Moon, one of the members of the unofficial committee organizing the tribute.
The event organizers are asking attendees to wear something red, as Lane was known for his trademark red scarf.
Contributions are being welcomed to the Dennis Lane Memorial Fund through the Community Foundation of Howard County (formerly the Columbia Foundation), an organization that distributes grants to local nonprofits. Donations can be made by writing a check to the Community Foundation of Howard County, with "Dennis Lane Memorial Fund" in the memo line and mailed to the foundation at 10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 315, Columbia, 20144. Donations can also be made online at cfhoco.org.