'Gentle giant' Lavenham farmer dies aged 59 from brain tumour

David 'Henry Lane has died at the age of 59 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

David 'Henry' Lane has died at the age of 59 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. - Credit: Lane family

A well-respected farmer and former banger racer from Lavenham has sadly died at the age of 59 less than six months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. 

David 'Henry' Lane has been described by his wife Karen of 37 years as a "gentle giant" following his sad death on Sunday, January 17, where he was surrounded by his family.

Mr Lane, who was also known by his childhood nickname Henry, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August last year, the same disease which took his younger brother's life 25 years ago. 

Tributes have been pouring in for the father-of-three, who grew up in Lavenham at his family's farm which he has run for the last 20 years following the death of his father.

Mrs Lane, who met David when he was just 15 years old on the school bus, described her childhood sweetheart as a "tidy farmer" who was well-respected in the community 

He was a devoted father to Melissa Harris, 40, Michael Lane, 34, and Rebecca Lane, 28, and had three grandchildren Sam, Nathan and Arabella, who he adored. 

"He was a gentle giant and a big family man," said Mrs Lane, who is just 5ft 1ins compared to Mr Lane's 6ft 5ins. 

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"He had a terrific sense of humour and he could converse with people from all walks of life. 

"He always made me smile even throughout his illness. His death leaves a huge hole in our lives."

David 'Henry' Lane, who led the East Anglian battles for many years under the number 309, has dies at the age of 59.

David 'Henry' Lane, who led the East Anglian battles for many years under the number 309, has dies at the age of 59. - Credit: Chris Berry

Mr Lane was also one of Spedeworth’s top banger stars and led the East Anglian battles for many years under the number 309, which was later taken over by his son Michael when he retired. 

He was highly respected by anyone who traded paint with him and was a hero of the East Anglian Banger fraternity.

Mr Lane had spent the last few years nurturing his eldest grandson who wants to go into farming, and he will take over the business when he is experienced enough. Until then the farm will continue to be maintained by Mrs Lane and their three children and it will live on in Mr Lane's memory. 

Mrs Lane said they have received hundreds of cards since his death, showing how well-loved he was by everyone who knew him.

He maintained many childhood friends in Lavenham and if Covid was not around Mrs Lane said the church would have been "overflowing" with people.

Instead, Mr Lane will be taken to the church for his funeral on Thursday, February 4 via a tractor/trailer driven by his childhood best friend Michael, with a small procession of tractors behind coming from the northern end of the village. 

His family is inviting people to pay their respects by waving him off during his journey at around 11.20am. 

They are urging people to maintain social distancing at all times. 

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