On Aug. 29, a staple of OIC of Rocky Mount departed this life, leaving a gap in the hearts of all who knew and loved him and taking over 23 years of OIC history with him.

Maurice E. Lane, formerly the director of facilities, was a valued and loyal employee, colleague and friend, not only to OIC, but to many in eastern North Carolina. His extensive history with this organization is a testament to how an ordinary man’s passion and fight to help bring equity in the community has bettered the lives of all who reside in Rocky Mount and surrounding areas.

Lane’s work made Rocky Mount a better and safer place to live. He believed in the mission of OIC and committed his life to helping make an impact, especially in the lives of the underserved.

Lane became a member of the OIC family in April 1997 as an outreach worker. After a year of exceptional performance, he was promoted to coordinator of the AIDS Project in 1998. Lane excelled in every position he assumed and went beyond the call of duty to serve his clients.

In March 1999, he was promoted to director of AIDS Prevention Services. During his tenure as director, Lane had remarkable outcomes and became known throughout eastern North Carolina for his services. He spent many years managing the HIV Prevention Program, before transitioning to director of facilities and transportation.

Lane has left a permanent mark in the hearts of all who knew him — not just because of his accomplishments, but because of the sincerity of the heart in which he served. He was a father figure and role model to many.

While it pains the OIC staff to lose an employee, co-worker and friend, they realize that many have lost a champion. OIC will continue to work in the shadows of great men and women like Lane and strive daily to fulfill the mission of “Helping People, Help Themselves.”