Katie Lane was a short stick of dynamite whose fuse was lit in 1946. The daughter of William Filliponi and Blanche Cooper (Borba), Katie passed away on April 19, 2016 at the age of sixty-nine at her home in Las Vegas, NV, after living a life filled with joys and hardships that she faced with fierce love, humor, and determination.

Katie never let anyone tell her what she could or couldn't do. As a child, she could out-throw and out-bat the boys on her dad's youth softball team. She loved to watch NASCAR with her step-father, Dick. And when people said in 1963 that girls couldn't complete a grueling "Kennedy Walk" in twenty-four hours, Katie walked 40 miles, through cuts and blisters, to prove them wrong.


Like her brother, Gino, Katie was an outstanding cook and could grill you a porterhouse that would put Outback Steakhouse to shame. She was a Leo and was proud of her Italian heritage. She liked morning glory flowers, bowling, going to church, model trains, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. She loved Shrek and Dirty Dancing, Michael Bolton and Billy Joel. Like her son, DaShanne, Katie enjoyed drawing, photography, Tetris, Star Trek, history, and architecture. Like her mother, Katie loved going new places and kept Kodak in business taking millions of pictures. She always said that if you were going to buy something, buy something nice and take good care of it.

Katie helped those around her through hard times and she was the kind of woman who would give the shirt off her back to those in need. She fought for what was right and wouldn't let anyone hold her back. It's little wonder that Katie's open mind and heart brought her much love. She married twice before finally marrying her best friend and true love, Ernie, in 1995.

Having been a champion drag racer in her youth, Katie refused to let anything, even her advancing age, slow her down. Even as she neared retirement, she could be found out camping with her loving husband on weekends, out riding her Harley trike in her Betty Boop leathers, or tearing up the countryside on a four-wheeler--all to the amazed cheers from her son.

Katie's enduring love, support, and determination continue to inspire her son's writing and work for civil rights. In the words of her loving God daughter, Camille, "we should all embrace life like she did."