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John Kane

John Pershing Kane, 94, died peacefully in his home in Topeka on Friday, March 15, 2013, shortly after celebrating the 95th birthday of his beloved wife and partner of 72 years, Joyce Kane. John is the son of Joseph J. and Vilesta (Walker) Kane, and brother of Mary Marie (Kane) Weaver, who preceded him in death on January 12, 2010, and Geraldine Kane, who died at age 2 in the 1918 flu epidemic. Born in Rock Creek, Kansas on April 17, 1918, he went to Rock Creek schools, graduating in 1936. He was the oldest member of the surviving class of a two-room elementary school, and enjoyed attending the annual all-school reunions. He met his wife Joyce, who grew up in the Swabville area of Valley Falls, in 1934, when they were both 16. They were married on August 4, 1940, at the home of the bride s parents, at Valley Falls. John is a proud graduate of Kansas State College (1941), where he earned a degree in accounting. During World War II, John joined the Army in 1944, and was a sergeant in the Infantry. His ship landed in France on Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945. He always said that Germany surrendered because they heard he was coming. He then spent a year touring much of Europe on various military postings, and had fond memories of his time there. Shortly after returning, John began work at the landmark Hotel Jayhawk in Topeka, a career that spanned 28 years, initially as an accountant, and then as manager. He then worked as an auditor for the State of Kansas for 12 years, where he retired from the Department of Revenue in 1987. Finally, he held an honorary position for 10 years with the Kansas Legislature, serving as a doorman in the Senate chamber. John was a long-time and devoted member of many civic organizations, including the Downtown Topeka Optimist Club, Orient Lodge # 51, AF & AM, Arab Shrine, and Topeka North Post # 400 of the American Legion. John and Joyce are members of the Central Congregational Church. John was a loyal K-State fan, and had his weekly pizza and beer before the game on Friday night. He enjoyed following sports, playing golf, gardening, and giving treats to neighborhood dogs, especially Rusty. For decades he was a member of a weekly poker game, where he will be dearly missed. He enjoyed his many lifelong friends and neighbors, and would often engage others in lively conversations and jokes, once stopping then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius in the grocery aisle in Dillons to chat. He wanted to be remembered as an honest, dependable, and hard-working, family man. John is survived by three children, Linda Joyce Siwek (Silver Spring, Md.), Larry Kane (Tucson, Az.), and Patricia Kane-Kovalchuk (Topeka, Ks), as well as seven grandchildren, David Williams (King George, Va.), Mark Williams (Bethesda, Md), Meredith Kane (Tucson, Az.), Jennifer Kane (Harrisburg, Pa.), Sarah Evans (Lawrence, Ks.), Thomas Brant Morgan (Kansas City, Ks.), and Sally Dorrell (Kansas City, Ks.), and four great-grandchildren (Calvin Williams, Clara Williams, Madelyn Williams, and Shelby Evans). John will lie in state after 3:00 PM, Tues., March 19, 2013, at Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel, 1321 SW Tenth Avenue, Topeka. The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 PM, Wed., March 20, 2013, at the funeral chapel, followed by funeral services at 2:00 PM. A Fort Riley U.S. Army Detail will conduct military honors at Mt. Hope Cemetery, 4700 SW 17th. Contributions may be made to Central Congregational Church, 1248 SW Buchanan St., Topeka, KS 66604. To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com. John P. Kane

Published in Topeka Capital-Journal from Mar. 17 to Mar. 18, 2013
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