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Former Sunset publisher Mel Lane dies

Mel Lane, who along with his brother Bill owned and published Sunset Magazine for decades, has died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease at age 85. The news of his death was announced today by Stanford, where he was a trustee from 1981 to 1991. Stanford said Lane died at his home in Atherton on Saturday.

Lane’s father bought the struggling Sunset magazine in 1928 and, after serving in the Navy in World War II, Lane began working at the magazine with his brother. As the magazine grew, Sunset branched out into cook books and pioneered the home do-it-yourself movement.

The Lane family sold Sunset in 1990 to Time Warner. The Stanford obit noted that after the sale, Lane, who drove around Atherton in his 1971 Chevrolet convertible, told a reporter, “I don’t plan to do anything different as far as the money goes. I told some friends that I might afford a new car.”

A memorial service will be held in Stanford Memorial Church at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11.

In this picture by Chuck Painter (courtesy of the Stanford News Service), Lane is seen in Stanford’s Memorial Church, which was restored after the 1989 earthquake with funds he helped to raise.

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