Mills Lane Cause of death

Mills Lane, who rose to fame first as a boxer, then referee, Washoe County district attorney and judge, died Tuesday morning in Reno. Lane was 85 years old. His son, Tommy Lane, told the RGJ that Lane died after being in hospice for the past week. Lane suffered a stroke 20 years ago, in April 2002.

“He took a significant decline in his overall situation,” Tommy Lane said. “It was a quick departure. He was comfortable and he was surrounded by his family.” His family, wife Kaye and sons Terry and Tommy, were with him when he died.

“You never knew how long he had. We kind of felt like we were preparing for this all along, but there’s no such thing as preparing for this,” Tommy Lane said.

Tommy Lane said they spent the past few days watching several of his father’s favorite movies, including “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” a movie starring Paul Newman about Rocky Graziano, as well as “The Godfather,” “On The Waterfront,” “Patton ” and “Shane.” They also watched Lane’s fight from the 1960 college boxing championship.

What do boxing referees do?

A referee gives instructions to both fighters before the bout, determines when to stop or start a contest, and determines when a foul is intentional or accidental.

Mills Lane Cause of death

“We had a great last couple of days with him,” Tommy Lane said. “He was eating breakfast. We got him some Dairy Queen.” Tommy Lane said no funeral service is planned, but that the family might hold a memorial at a later date. “He hated funerals,” Tommy Lane said. “We might do some sort of send-off, celebration at a bar, or something like that, but not a traditional funeral.”

Former Washoe County district attorney Dick Gammick said Lane was his mentor, and said Lane was like a brother to him. Lane hated living with the effects of the stroke, including struggling to speak, Gammick said.
“The worst thing in the world that could have happened to Mills was losing his ability to talk,” Gammick said.

“Reno owes him a debt because he did a lot for Reno.”

He said Lane helped numerous children throughout the community. Mike Martino, Nevada boxing club coach and former president of USA Boxing, saw Lane the day before he died. “We were sucker-punched 20 years ago,” Martino said. “It was almost like we got an eight-count, in boxing terminology, when we heard he had the stroke. He is Nevada. He is Reno.”

Martino recalled how Lane would run every morning in his gray sweats, then go hit the heavy bag in his garage for three rounds before heading to the courthouse.
“His family loved that man so much and protected him,” Martino said.

Keith Lee worked in the Washoe County district attorney’s office with Lane in the early 1970s.
He recalled that Lane would always carry a pistol, and once stopped a gas station robber by holding him at gun point until the police arrived.

“He was such a genuine guy,” Lee said. “He was one of the good guys. Worked hard, was a great public servant. Loved his job. Loved being district attorney. Loved being a referee. Truly an icon in our community in so many respects.”
960, he won


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