Robert Francis Kane

PORTLAND – Robert Francis Kane passed away in the company of his children on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Portland.

Raised in Holyoke, Mass., and formerly an enthusiastic resident of Clarks Summit, Pa., in the Scranton area, “Bob” finally succumbed after a 17-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Bob was born in 1934, the fifth child of James Peter and Lena M. Kane. Bob’s memories of his childhood were filled with family dinners, card games, love, and lots of laughter. He attended a small Catholic high school. He was one of several Bobs in his graduating class. After high school and the death of his father, Bob worked his way through junior college in Holyoke and his final two years at Arizona State University.

His work life had begun at 12 when he started helping out at Kane’s Dairy Bar which was owned by his uncle. As a young college student, Bob worked as a milkman often running his route. After a two-year stint in the Marines, Bob began his career in retail management, a career uniquely suited to his gregarious personality and strong work ethic. As a management trainee for the Kresge and then, Kmart Corporation, Bob worked at several stores in the Northeast.

His transfers brought him to Quincy, Mass., where he met the love of his life, Kathleen Ellen Crehan. The two married after a six-month courtship. Two children and a few transfers later, “Kay” Kane and Bob settled in Clarks Summit.

Bob managed the Dickson City Kmart from 1976-1997. His big booming voice, tremendous enthusiasm, and kindness were the hallmarks of Bob’s leadership style. When asked how he could work so many hours, he would declare that he loved people. Bob brought that same enthusiasm to his family life. He was a devoted spouse and father. He loved spending time together and was always game for an outing.

An avid walker, gardener, and sports fan, Bob had a lovely early retirement traveling and taking on part-time work as a census worker in Scranton and then as a preschool van driver for the Northeast Educational Intermediate Unit. He kept a hand in retail buying and selling baseball cards online, at yard sales and at flea markets. Bob loved attending local sporting events and was recognized as a top fan of the Abington Heights Girls Basketball Team.

In 2008 Bob and Kay moved to Portland, just a few blocks away from their daughter’s family. Bob became a Papa three times over and as Parkinson’s started to erode his quality of life, he amazed family, friends, and medical providers with his strength and determination. He was Bob Kane to the end.

Bob was predeceased by his loving parents, Jim and Lena; his brother, James “Jim” Kane of Arizona and his sisters, Lillian Kane, Eleanor Sherman, and Margaret “Margie” Wohlers, all of Holyoke; as well as many cherished members of his extended family including a niece and a nephew.

Bob is survived by Kay, his devoted wife of 52 years; their son, Robert Charles Kane and wife Christie Lynn Kane of Westford, Vt., and their daughter, Theresa Ann Lee and husband Everett Matthew Lee of Portland. Bob is also survived by three grandchildren, Sylvia Lucanne Kane, Zachary Robert Lee, and Grayson Robert Kane; as well as loving nieces, nephews, cousins, other extended family, and friends. May Bob’s spirit live on in their hearts.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. Interment will take place in Evergreen Cemetery. Please visit to access the link to join the livestreaming of services and to sign Robert’s online guestbook.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Portland Wheelers in Maine or The Friends of the Poor in Scranton, Pa.

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