Where does one start when writing about the loss of one of your closest friends and an industry leader? I’ve written about many in the ag-aviation industry that have gone before us. This one is tough, my friend Grant Lane.
I first heard of Grant over 35 years ago. Who hadn’t? The Lane family has been instrumental in ag-aviation for over 75 years. It was during a trip to Lane Aviation in Rosenberg, Texas, where I visited Mr. George Lane for an article in the late 1980s, that I met Grant.
Grant’s presence was overwhelming to me at the time. I was still an active ag-pilot trying to get AgAir Update “off the ground.” I soon learned that talking to Grant during that first visit was easy. We hit it off almost immediately. Working the same state trade shows sealed the friendship until his passing on July 12, 2023.
I had been traveling in Latin America for over ten years when I invited Grant to accompany me to Brazil in 2002. That was our first Latin American trip to be followed by at least 50+ more. In those years, we often traveled to Brazil but also to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico. Traveling throughout Latin America was not the only trips we made; they also included Canada, The Bahamas and throughout the U.S.
We were returning home from a trip to Brazil when Grant complained his leg was bothering him. He was always one to tough it out and resisted any medication. His leg bothered him enough to see a doctor; that was April 2022, when he was diagnosed.
Grant fought his cancer to the end, never giving up hope. We talked at least three times a week and even more often after April of last year. Now, there is an empty void.
Grant was loved and liked by many people. Business-wise, he was the epitome of an intelligent and fair businessman. As a friend, you could not ask for a better one. He will be missed by many. There is no replacing him. I, along with his family and many friends, will have to adapt to life without Grant Lane; not going to be an easy task. Godspeed, my friend, until we meet again.
Until next month, Keep Turning…