Lane Causey, fondly remembered for product fundraising throughout area schools and non-profits as the World’s Finest Chocolate man, died on June 20th at the age of 76 from an extended illness. Lane was surrounded by loved ones from family and friends as he passed peacefully in his New Orleans home.
Born on May 26, 1943, in Conway, South Carolina to Cecil Hucks Causey and Elbert Lane Causey, Lane Causey earned his Bachelor of Science from Wofford College before joining the United States Army and was stationed in Leavenworth, Kansas. After his service, Lane taught school for a couple of years, and in 1970 began a career in the fundraising industry with World’s Finest Chocolate. His first territory was Arkansas. While living in Little Rock, he met and married his sweetheart, Lucy Lee Huie, and in 1974 they moved to New Orleans to develop and manage the World’s Finest Chocolate territory. Lane continued his entrepreneurial spirit by franchising Chocolate Chip Cookie Company stores.
Though his roots were in South Carolina, Lane enjoyed a lasting and deep-seated love of the Crescent City. Lane was an active member of Metairie Baptist Church and at various times throughout his 45 years in the city, served as a board member for Ochsner Baptist hospital, the New Orleans Economic Development Commission, and a variety of committees within the New Orleans Archdiocese and the Jefferson Parish School System. Lane truly believed his mission and talent was to help the schools of the metro area raise the funds they needed to reach their educational goals.
Since 1974, Lane has helped raise over $60 million dollars for schools, organizations, and non-profits in Southeast Louisiana. Lane continued his love for the fundraising industry with World’s Finest Chocolate by sharing his knowledge, training, and management skills with hundreds of reps throughout his time with the company. At the time of Lane’s death, he still worked for the company he strongly admired. When asked why he hadn’t retired after 49 years with World’s Finest Chocolate, Lane happily replied, “Why would I retire? I’ve never had a job since I started selling chocolate. Everyday, I still get to do what I’m passionate about.”
When not working, Lane and Lucy enjoyed spending many of their days at their farm in Conway, Arkansas, their beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and traveling this great world with friends any chance they could. Lane loved his family, his work, his friends, and his precious dog, Nola. But, more than anything, Lane wanted to be remembered as a man who loved the Lord and loved his fellow man. He loved people. He loved helping people in anyway he could. Lane’s favorite motto in life was inspired by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Left behind to remember Lane’s legacy, smile, and huge heart are his wife of 48 years, Lucy, his children, Todd Causey and Laura Causey Philippovic (Michael), two brothers, Elbert Lane (Linda) of Wichita, Kansas, and James Milton (Patricia) of Anderson, South Carolina. Lane will affectionately be remembered by his six grand children Emily (18), Gabby (18), Brianne (17), Greyson (17), Charlie (9), and John Michael (4).
A service to celebrate the life of Lane Causey will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at the First Baptist Church of New Orleans. Visitation will be from 12-2, with the service beginning at 2. Immediately after, a celebratory reception will take place at The Crossing in Kenner’s Historic Rivertown. In lieu of flowers, Lane has asked that you remember him by remembering to “leave your community a little better than you found it”. Those wishing to make monetary donations in Lane’s memory, please consider one of the following: New Schools for New Orleans, Every Friend Needs Love, Mount Carmel Academy, or John Curtis Christian School. Tharp;-Sontheimer Funeral Home, 1600 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, Louisiana is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed online at www.tharpsontheimerfh.com. Information 835-2341.