Born in St. Louis on 28 September 1910, Dorothy Edith “Dot” Lane was the daughter of Thomas Right Lane and Lena Henninger. Dot grew up in St. Louis with her mom and pop and three sisters: Mabel, Edna, and Mildred. She married Robert William Percy Fennell on 10 September 1931 in University City, and they spent their entire married life at their home at 2605 Valley Avenue, Maplewood. Bob and Dot had four children: Robert Floyd, Nancy Louise, Diane Carol and Sandra Lee.

Dorothy’s family lived in several areas of St. Louis, but after all the girls were born, they purchased their home at 4256 Swan Avenue in St. Louis, where they resided for many years. Dorothy and her three sisters called themselves “The Lane Girls” as they were a very close family. She attended Adams School and was a very good student.

As a young girl, she and her family took a day trip up the Mississippi on the steamer St. Paul. A storm came up during this excursion and the steamer got stuck on a sand bar. Word was sent back to St. Louis about the delay. When they finally made it back to St. Louis the following morning, there were many anxious folks waiting to greet them. Many Sundays were spent in Forest Park riding, boating on the lagoons, and in the winter, sledding down Art Hill.

Dorothy was a wonderful mother and did many things with and for her children. There wasn’t much traveling because money was pretty scarce at that time. Dot didn’t learn to drive until her daughter Nancy was driving and taught her. Taking her kids to the Municipal Opera in Forest Park was a major event; walking to the Maplewood Loop, then transferring from streetcars to buses to get there; then returning home the same way. Dot loved music and dancing and was known to roll up the rug in the living room. She learned to cook, sew, and crochet at an early age and was very adept at all of them. She was a homemaker when her children were young. She then went to work for Citizens National Bank and later at Feld Chevrolet as a switchboard operator.

Dorothy Fennell
Dorothy Fennell
Photo in the collection of Nancy Hawkins
Used with permission

Dorothy lost her husband and two of her children before she passed away. Her husband Bob died on 21 October 1986 at Incarnate Word Hospital after a short illness. A remembrance was held at J. B. Smith Funeral Home for friends and family; however, several years prior to his death, he had asked that his body be donated for science to the St. Louis University Medical Center. Dorothy died on 1 March 2007 at the Brook View Home in St. Louis, while under SSM hospice care. Her service was held at J. B. Smith Funeral Home in Maplewood with burial at Laurel Hill Cemetery.

(Sources are from family records.)

Written by Nancy Louise Fennell Hawkins
February 2017

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:40