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William John Kane
October 2, 1940 ~ January 18, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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William (Bill) John Kane died peacefully in Maryland close to his family, he succumbed to his battle with cancer. Bill was born on October 2, 1940, in Prague, the Czech Republic, to William Kane and Dagmar Odehnal Kane. He had two younger sisters, Loretta Kane Smith, and Eva Dagmar Roswell. All were two years apart. Between 1940 and 1957 they lived in Prague; Arlington, VA; Eagle Pass, TX; Bogota, Colombia; and McLean, Virginia with their parents. They moved a considerable number of times because of their father’s diplomatic career in the American Foreign Service.
Bill graduated from McLean High School in 1958 with many good friends, keeping in touch with some. He was voted the friendliest Boy of his senior class. He attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for one year and then transferred to General Motors Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Flint, Michigan, at the suggestion of a neighbor in McLean who was an engineer and saw Bill’s potential. Bill’s research thesis at GMIT was “Development of a Corvette Disc Brake Cooling Installation.” Bill briefly began his career as an automotive engineer for General Motors in Buffalo, New York. Then he moved to Dexter, MI, Romulus, MI, designing disc brakes for cars.
He was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. His hobbies included automobiles and photography. Bill’s first car was a 1936 Chevrolet which he named LuluBell and bought himself in high school. His great loves were sports cars (especially his 1963 Corvette Stingray which is on display in Gilmore Museum in MI), boating, fishing, and horseback riding.
Bill married Joyce Ahlijian in May 1987 in the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Joyce had 4 grown sons, Tom, John, Steve, and Kirk. Bill and Joyce continued to live in Dexter on Portage Lake. They often invited Bill’s sisters and their families altogether (seven children in all) to spend time at the lake. After Bill retired, he and Joyce purchased a second home in Arizona where they enjoyed many winters. Joyce predeceased Bill, dying in 2006.