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Obituary: Wyvona Lane

Wyvona Lane died on June 8, just two days after her 91st birthday.

Born Wyvona Belle Alexander in the small Texas town of Yorktown, she left there at the age of 13 when her father, an oil field worker, moved his family to Canada and then to Oklahoma in search of employment.

In Oklahoma, Wyvona's won a series of scholarships that took her to the Oklahoma College for Women where she earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry; to Oberlin College (Ohio) to earn a masters degree; and to the University of Illinois where she received her Ph.D.

Wyvona had a distinguished career as chemist in the pharmaceutical industry and was the holder of many patents and the author of numerous scientific papers in that field. After she and her husband, Joe, moved to the Washington, D.C. area, she also worked for the U.S. government and the National Academy of Science.

She was a respected authority on orchids and was known to many in her Hollin Hills neighborhood as "The Orchid Lady." Already a skilled and avid gardener, she had become increasingly enthusiastic about propagating and growing orchids, and after her retirement, her newly constructed greenhouse allowed her to use her expertise and love for those exotic plants to their fullest. She was one of the founders of the Hollin Hills Orchid Society and a member of the National Capitol Orchid Society.

In the early 1950s, Joe and Wyvona Lane were among the earliest settlers in Hollin Hills, having read in the New York Times about "a new type of house being built there." They shared a fondness for and involvement in that community that never waned.

Wyvona is survived by her husband Joseph Lane.