Yale '62 - Obituaries - Daniel H. Kane, Jr.

Daniel H. Kane, Jr.

Born: September 15, 1940
Died: June 14, 1995

Dan was born in New York City and came to Yale from Huntington (New York) High School. Dan was a member of Timothy Dwight, where he was on the council and the football and swimming squads. He was in Zeta Psi, Yale Key and on the News (senior editor), and was editor of Moderator. He was also on the Freshman swim team.

Dan graduated Magna Cum Laude in a special honors program in Physics and Philosophy. He was a ranking scholar and on the Dean's List. After graduation Dan served in the Marine Corps Reserve.

He received his law degree from Harvard in 1966 and upon completing law school, he briefly worked for his family's intellectual property law firm in Manhattan before moving to the west coast. There he soon became a partner in another law firm specializing in intellectual property in San Francisco, was active in environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, and taught at local universities.

Later, the call came from another member of the class, Richard Davis, who unfortunately also suffered a premature death in 1982, to help him found a new university on Mt. Desert Island off the coast of Maine, the College of the Atlantic. Dan gave up a lucrative and prosperous law practice and with his wife Marion and family moved back east to don the robes of academia.

At the College, he lectured in environmental and constitutional law, philosophy, and physics and taught a course on invention. An original thinker in a variety of fields, he propounded new theories and observations both in his writings and lectures.

Always interested in the environment and physical conditioning, Dan found the perfect place for his vast extracurricular activities. From the mid-1960's on, he was an avid jogger who ran 10 to 15 miles nearly every day, and one year entered and finished respectably in the Boston Marathon. He would bivouac on the Alagash River in northern Maine and Canada in mid-winter. His last major climbing venture was the 15,000-foot Mt. Rainier. He wrote articles about many of his excursions and published in local periodicals and newspapers.

Classmate Ken Cascone paid a moving tribute to Dan: "The great irony of his death was that in terms of physical conditioning and lifestyle, Dan did everything right, and then some. Those who knew Dan will remember him as a gregarious, open, natural, and caring individual. Despite his overpowering intellect and his many accomplishments, he was never arrogant or supercilious and was always interested in what others thought and believed."

"For 14 months before his death, he knew he had ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]. While naturally distressed when he first learned the awful truth, he quickly and typically mastered everything published on it. He put his life in order, got closer to his family, and continued to serve his clients to the very end. He handled death like he lived life - with courage and grace."

Dan was an active participant in the Somesville community, serving as an assistant Boy Scout leader, a member of the Somesville Village Improvement Society, and founding president of the Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary. Dan was never far from a canoe, a backpack, or telemark skis, and he loved to explore the rivers and mountains of Maine, the U.S., and Canada.

He was survived by his wife, Marion M. Kane of Somesville; two sons, Daniel S. Kane of Palo Alto, California, and Christopher C. Kane of Bar Harbor; his father, Daniel H. Kane, Sr., of Centerport, New York; two sisters, Ailene Kane Rogers of McLean, Virginia, and Patsy Kane Hennin of Woolwich, Maine; one brother, Kevin Kane of Hallowell, Maine; and numerous nieces and nephews.