Sylvia Lane, wife of the late Samuel Lane, and owner of Lane’s dress shop, passed away in Tucson, AZ, on September 30th. She will always be remembered for her sense of style and elegance in the fashion world and among the well-dressed of the Wilkes-Barre area.
Cissie, as she was called by close friends and family, was born in New York City in 1926 and raised in Wilkes-Barre. Her father, Max Holtzman, was a master tailor who immigrated from Russia and worked for Hattie Carnegie in Manhattan, making wool suits for the fashionable elite, including Marlena Dietrich. He married Bella Spivack, the daughter of a Russian furrier, and settled in Wilkes-Barre after the 1st World War, where he opened a high-end tailor shop on North Franklin Street. It was he who taught Cissie how to sew.
During the war years, after graduating from Meyers High School, Cissie went to New York City in hopes of becoming an artist and dress designer. She worked at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital by day, volunteered to wrap bandages for the soldiers overseas, and attended Pratt Institute in the evenings. At that time, she was engaged to Samuel Lane of Boston, who was fighting for our country aboard the Naval Destroyer The USS Rodgers in the Pacific arena. She then sought employment at the famous couture atelier of Valentina, in Manhattan, where she made gowns for Greta Garbo among other well-known stars.
When Sam and Cissie married in 1948, they settled in Boston, but eventually decided to expand on her father’s tailor shop on North River Street, Wilkes-Barre, and began carrying “ready to wear” clothing…only of the finest quality.
Cissie’s father passed away the following year and she and Sam started Lane’s. In 1957, they bought the property at 88 South Franklin St. and expanded the store. Through Cissie’s fashion sense and Sam’s business skills, Lane’s was known for years as a landmark of elegance throughout Northeastern PA. During this time, the Lanes were great travelers, bringing back fashions from Paris, London, Milan, Austria, Thailand and Mexico. The carried clothing by designers Trigère, Donald Brooks, Geoffrey Beene, Diane von Furstenburg, Escada and many more.
Sylvia Lane was also known for her unique and imaginative garden. A mix of flowers and vegetables, it was a surprising oasis in downtown Wilkes-Barre that brought joy to many.
Sylvia Lane is survived by her daughter, Abby Greene of Tucson and her husband, Randy; three grandchildren, Tamsen Greene of NYC, William Greene of Singapore, and Gavin Greene of Tokyo, Japan; brother, Seymour Holtzman and various nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Sylvia was preceded by her son, Jeffrey Scott Lane; sister, Ruth Fischman, formerly of Wilkes-Barre and brother Bill Holtzman, formerly of Syracuse and Chicago.
Funeral will be held on Monday, October 8, 2018, at 11:00 am from the Rosenberg Funeral Chapel, Inc. 348 S. River Street, Wilkes-Barre with Rabbi Roger Lerner officiating. Interment will follow in Temple B'nai Brith Cemetery, Hanover Township.
Shiva will be observed at The Woodlands Inn and Resort on Monday from 5PM to 7PM.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Planned Parenthhood or Temple B’nai Brith.
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