Lane White
1938 - 2020
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Mining Journalist

Robert Lane White, 1955 graduate of Durango High School and son of the late Inez and Bob White, formerly of Durango, died of heart failure Aug. 21, 2020, in Denver. At DHS, Lane played violin with the orchestra and saxophone with the dance band.

Lane, who attended the Colorado School of Mines and graduated from the University of Colorado, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for "Dedication and Support Towards the Advancement of the Mining Industry." His career as a mining journalist, based first in New York City and then London, took him from Iceland to India, Australia to Africa, China to Mexico, and beyond.

Services will be held at a later date. Lane is survived by his sisters, Vennie Eline White and Laura McLane. A full obituary for Robert Lane White available at MonarchSociety.com or Legacy.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Durango Herald on Sep. 3, 2020.
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12 entries
November 14, 2020
Vennie Eline White
Sister
November 14, 2020
Vennie Eline White
Sister
November 14, 2020
Ta Li's very fine tribute reminded me that I had pictures of Lane playing softball and on this machine, so here they are. Thanks so much Ta Li for giving us your views of Lane at work, things we wouldn't have known otherwise.
Vennie Eline White
Sister
October 7, 2020
Lane While and Tu Li at the 2012 MinExpo, National Mining Association, Las Vegas, NV
One of Mining's greatest editors and authors spanning a career of over 50 years.

I first met Lane when he was on the staff of Engineering and Mining Journal in September 1972. He was an Associate Editor and had just completed an exhaustive article on "The Big Ones are Coming--What's Ahead for Large Off-Highway Trucks." This article started a new trend in mining journalism, offering a compresenhive look at significant milestones in the scaleup to the haulage trucks in open pit mining. Up to then, the standard for open pit mines were mechanical driven units with up to 85 tons capacity. Electric wheel drives were gaining in popularity, becoming more cost competitive haulage. Lane reviewed them all from WABCOs, ElectraHauls, Euclid, Unit Rigs, VCONs and even Darts. Caterpillar wouldn't be a factor for another 15 years. In 1973, he followed up with "The Scoop on Shovels, Loaders and Draglines." where he again visited with all the major manufacturers in the US. Innovations included 25 cu yd dippers, aluminum allloy booms, and environmental cabs. Wheel loader vs Shovel comparisons helped mine operators in the selection process, resulting in optimizing their production cycles and lowering haulage unit costs. Other significant contributions included his reporting on major mining companies including AMAX and Cominco. There was no subject that he didn't write about in his 50 year career in mining journalism.

As a newly aspiring Mining Engineer, fresh out of Kennecott in Salt Lake City, Lane took me under his wing and with the Copy Editor taught me how to write and edit technical articles for E/MJ. I eventually became Editor in Chief for Mining Engineering, based on the fundamental skills that Lane shared with me. Lane was a top-5 wrold class writer and was promoted to Managing Editor for E/MJ in 1974. Lane played on the McGraw Hill Mining softball team against the Petroleum Group teams. He also was a serious Chess player matching wits with his colleagues including Paul Merritt (Coal Age) and Serge Delinois (News Editor). Other members of the staff were Sharon Ihnen (Copy Editor), Dan Jackson (Western Editor), and Gene Guccione (Senior Editor). Our Editorial Staff was led by George Lutjen (Editor in Chief) and Stan Dayton, (Executive Editor).

The passing of Lane is a great lost to mining journalism. His writings not only set the bar for quality but have become a "standard of excellence" for many mining publications to follow.
Ta Li
Coworker
September 7, 2020
Vennie Eline White
Sister
September 7, 2020
Lane often spent holidays with his niece Sandy and her family, taking much pleasure in playing cards with Sandy's children.
Vennie Eline White
Sister
September 6, 2020
Following my appointment as President and Executive Director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008, Lane and I met at my first Mining Hall of Fame and Museum board meeting at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. Lane's dedication to mining and the mining museum shone through at that meeting and subsequent gatherings at the museum. His ever-present smile will be missed.
Bob Hartzell
Friend
September 5, 2020
Lane and friend all spiffed up for a National Mining Museum and Hall of Fame event.
Vennie Eline White
Sister
August 31, 2020
I miss late-night calls that Lane made long ago to his brother Scott in Seattle — enthusiastically playing a newly discovered record album over the telephone!
Marsha Houston
Friend
August 29, 2020
As a former President and Executive Director (1988-98) of the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum I can attest to how invaluable Lane was to the organization. His knowledge and expertise on the Mining Industry will be missed. He was more than a friend to me, he was also a mentor and taught me a lot about the mining industry from his experience and world wide point of view. R.I.P., my friend.

Carl Miller
Leadville
Carl Miller
Friend
August 28, 2020
I am a former employee of the Delectable Egg restaurant! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Lane and his fun stories! He was a true and kind gentleman! He will be greatly missed! May he Rest In Peace!
Tracey Morrison
Tracey Morrison
Friend
August 28, 2020
LANE (in the family we never knew him as Robert) was a sometimes crotchety, contankarous brother, but he was also generous, kindly praising my photographs, calling me the world's best unknown photographer, and providing wisdom when I was 16 and he was all of 24 about how to write, how to get along with my parents, and more.
Vennie Eline White
Sister
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