William F. Bane

Obituary
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William Francis Bane

William Francis Bane passed away February 20th, 2014 at 9:40 p.m. surrounded by his devoted family. A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Bill led a noteworthy and successful life both privately and publicly. He was a loving and devoted husband to his wife, a caring and nurturing father to his sons and Pawpaw to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bill was also an admired community leader and entrepreneur who led a successful business for over half his life, and who rose to a position of prominence within his industry.

Born June 25, 1927 and orphaned as a child, he was raised by his maternal grandparents Erven and Frances Ryle. Growing up in the Depression, he learned the value of hard work and the importance of self-reliance, innovation and motivation. His many positive qualities were further enhanced by his Catholic upbringing and education at Holy Cross Grade School and Cathedral High School.

After graduation, Bill bravely embraced his love of country and enlisted in the Marine Corps to help defend his nation during World War II. A true member of the 'Greatest Generation', he also volunteered and participated in the Korean conflict. While stationed in Philadelphia, PA after World War II, he met his bride to be Elizabeth Ann on a blind date. They were married on April 26th 1947 and the couple would have celebrated a happy and blessed 67th year of marriage.

In 1950, Bill and wife Elizabeth returned to Indianapolis as proud parents of their first son, Bill, Jr. Their second son Donald was born shortly thereafter, and the family has continued to call Indianapolis home since that time.

Following the return to Indianapolis, Bill helped to care for his ailing grandmother and began a career as a tanker truck driver for Gaseteria, a petroleum company. He later worked for Brink's armored car service where he rose in ranks to the management level at the Indianapolis branch. With heavy heart, he resigned from Brink's in late 1961 as further advancement meant moving his family to another part of the country and away from the city that his family called home.

Shortly after leaving Brink's, Bill explored business opportunities that would allow him to create his own success and that might allow his family to become part of his endeavors. Seeing a need for janitorial services, he started The Wm. F. Bane Company on February 4th, 1962. The company grew and in 1967 added a commercial and residential carpet cleaning division. Recognizing the success of this aspect of his business, he divested the janitorial service division and focused the fledgling firm entirely on carpet cleaning.

While operating the carpet cleaning service, Bill recognized that improvements to the efficiency and quality of the cleaning process could propel the industry forward. His entrepreneurial spirit and innovation led him to produce the first "Truck Mounted" carpet cleaning machine in 1970, for which he later received a patent for the unique design and application.

Dedicated to his vision, in 1974 Bill launched Bane-Clene® Systems, focused on the production and sale of Carpet Cleaning Equipment, Chemicals and Supplies. The service and supply divisions were incorporated into one entity, Bane-Clene® Corporation in 1980. The successful firm that Bill began in 1962 celebrated its 52nd anniversary this year, with Bill still active as Board Chairman.

Under his guidance and charismatic leadership, the growing business attained worldwide recognition in the Carpet Cleaning Industry and Bill was an active speaker and evangelist for the cleaning methods he developed. His leadership and business acumen helped launch thousands of independent networked affiliates worldwide, and true to his original vision his wife and sons have remained active participants in the company, still managing its day-to-day operation.

In addition to his business success, Bill was an active civic leader, serving as President of the Meadows/Fall Creek Civic League. He worked tirelessly to promote the area and later achieved an Enterprise Zone designation which opened up business opportunities for others in the area. He was also an active member of American Legion Post #3 where he served as Commander.

Outside his professional and civic endeavors, Bill loved the game of baseball. As a noteworthy young ballplayer, he had been scouted by several major league teams. As a father, he coached his sons in Little League® baseball, where he taught them the attributes of sportsmanship and teamwork. Organizationally, Bill developed and managed multiple Championship teams in American Legion Baseball, Connie Mack and Junior Baseball.

Later in life, his competitive nature turned to golf. He enjoyed his time on the links with family, friends and associates at Hillcrest Country Club. His golfing buddies at Hillcrest were affectionately known as the R.O.B.'s and they enjoyed many great times together. Bill won more than one Club Tournament and realized the dream of every golfer, a "hole in one".

Later in life, Bill and Elizabeth enjoyed wintering at their second home in St. Pete, FL. From there, they loved to visit nearby Disney World in Orlando, a special place where they enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Their love for the 'Fort Wilderness' area of the resort inspired Bill to develop and personally execute a grand vision of his own nature park at their home in Indianapolis. Now successfully transformed into a beautiful five-acre nature sanctuary, this park, complete with paths, bridges, lakes and landscaping is a beautiful reminder of the man who created it. Even in late 2013 and toward the end of his life, Bill could be found creating pathways and clearing land on his trusty tractor, his vision always expanding. Over the years, they cared for dozens of pets on the property and loved observing the wildlife attracted to the beautiful grounds.

Bill left an amazing legacy for those that follow him. Whether in private, professional, or civic endeavors, he was a successful leader with vision and motivation to follow through on his dreams. He will be greatly missed by the thousands of friends, associates and acquaintances he leaves behind, but most of all by his dedicated family who has remained with him throughout his prominent life.

He is survived by his spouse of 67 years (Elizabeth); sons, Wm. F. Bane, Jr. (significant other Denise Pettigrew), Donald Allen (Linda Faye); several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Special mention is made for loyal caregiver and family friend, retired RN Lynn Kinz who was able to manage in-home hospice care at the end of his life.

In accordance with his final wishes, a private service is planned with interment in the family mausoleum at Crown Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Augustine's Little Sisters of the Poor. Contact them at (2345 West 86th Street, Indpls., IN 46260, Phone 317-415-5767, http://www.littlesistersofthepoorindianapolis.org), which was the favorite charity of his and his grandmother.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Mar. 2 to Mar. 9, 2014
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