CHEYENNE, Wy. — Dr. William T. Kane of Cheyenne died Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, at Pointe Frontier retirement center following a lengthy illness.
Born Sept. 8, 1932 in Jamaica, N.Y., he later lived and worked in Big Flats, Corning and Lake Placid. He retired to Cheyenne in 1993.
Dr. Kane was a physicist for Corning Glass Works and held three patents in chrystallography and heat sensing technology, which contributed to the early processing and manufacture of fiber optics. He later served as a Corning Inc. representative in establishing international standards for the use of optic fiber in communications.
Kane attended college at the universities of Colorado, Kansas and Missouri, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1966 for study in X-Ray chrystallography.
Kane was also an Air Force officer, serving as an Air Force navigator in the Air Force’s 55th and 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Wings from 1953-59. As an electronics warfare officer, Kane participated in the Cold War Overflights of the USSR, spy missions that were not publicly acknowledged until after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. His service earned him the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross and the U.S. Air Medal. Kane was an Air Force Reserve officer from 1959 to 1966, separating with the rank of captain.
He was an avid skier, sportsman and longtime member of Rotary. He was also a member of several fraternal and professional associations.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia L. “Ginny” Kane of Cheyenne, Wy.; two sisters: June Kunz of Keene, N.H. and Phyllis Lazarus of San Jose, Calif.; a son, Brig. Gen. William P. Kane (USAFR, ret.) of Colorado Springs, Colo.; three daughters: Gretchen Gilbert of Cedar Grove, N.J., Ellen Jacobson of Reno, Nev. and Kathleen “Cindy” Lewis of Cheyenne; eight grandchildren: Sharon and Steven Jacobson; Caitlin and Tara Gilbert; David and Mary Kane; and Abby and Maddie Lewis of Cheyenne; and a great-grandson, Avery O. Kane.
Dr. Kane was predeceased by his father, Dr. J.T. Kane of Brooklyn, a physician and surgeon; his mother Marjory Lillian Davis, originally of London, England; and two sisters: Margery Kane and Patricia McFadden.
A celebration of his life took place at St. Christopher’s in Cheyenne. Honorary pallbearers included Roger Jacobson, Diane Kane, Eddie Gilbert and Tony Lewis. Celebrants included the Rev. Robin Chance and Elder Jewel Thomas of Cheyenne and the Rev. Walter Griffiths of Wilmington, N.C.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 2602 Deming Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82001 or New Hope Church of God in Christ, 1310 Cleveland, Cheyenne, WY 82001.