70TH ANNIVERSARY OF WW II AND PEARL HARBOR
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NAPLES — Judie Lane was born on this day in history.
The North Naples resident shares her birthday today with the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on America.
"It has been an honor to be part of history," she said.
Lane was born around 1:15 a.m. at St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, near Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Lane's mother, Blanche Nobrega, at the time 19, left the hospital the day Lane was born because she was scared, Lane said.
"Growing up, everybody knew Pearl Harbor Day. Over the years, fewer people recognize the date," said Lane, who was named Juliette Marie but goes by Judie. "I think the younger people aren't as aware of the date as much as those people who lived through it and grew up around it."
Lane grew up in Hawaii before moving to California in the 1960s. One of her first memories about growing up in Hawaii was being able to see out a window. Until she was 4, the windows were painted black for the blackouts that occurred after the attack.
"I was just in awe that I could look outside," she said.
When her mother got married in 1946, Lane and her younger sister, Diane Simmons, who was born the same year the war ended in 1945, were adopted by their stepfather, Lawrence Santos.
But the sisters didn't know that they had been adopted until they were 12 and it wasn't until this past February that they discovered they had four half-sisters of their biological father living in Hawaii. A few months later all of the sisters met for the first time in Las Vegas.
Blanche Nobrega died three years ago after moving to Naples from Hawaii. The stepfather died 10 years ago. Lane is thankful that she got to share time together with her mother in those last five years.
Lane and her husband of 40 years, Ken, have been residents of Naples for about 13 years after moving here from California.
The couple have two grown children living in Collier County — Tammy Mercer and Ken Lane — along with five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Those who know Judie Lane describe her as a leader who is assertive, kind, generous and caring.
"She has been the best sister that I could ask for, very supportive and she has been the matriarch of the family," said Simmons, 66, who talks to Lane daily.
Judie Lane has worked as a bookkeeper for 50 years and is still going. Today, she is bookkeeper for her daughter's flower shop, Floral Encores, in North Naples. She's also active in a local women's club and in her community, Emerald Lakes.
Coincidentally, Lane has a brother-in-law who also was born on Pearl Harbor Day, but in Oklahoma.
Each year, Lane receives many birthday cards and greetings from friends and family. She smiles when she speaks about turning 70, instead feeling like she is turning 50 today.
Today concludes four days of reports from Scripps Howard News Service and the Daily News of the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II.
"Everyone remembers my birthday because they remember Pearl Harbor and how old I am — unfortunately," Lane said.
"She cannot hide how old she is," her younger sister, Simmons, said. "I love it."
__ Connect with Tracy X. Miguel at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tracy_x_miguel/