Obituary: Joseph W. Kane – Portland Press Herald



Joseph W. Kane

TENANTS HARBOR – Joseph W. Kane, 82, passed away peacefully on June 1, 2021 at Sussman House with his wife, Suzy Kane, by his side.

Born in Chicago on August 23, 1938, he and his family moved to Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Joe graduated from U. from Wisconsin, Milwaukee and went to the U. from Illinois to Champaign-Urbana where he obtained a doctorate in physics. He spent the next two years in postdoctoral research at Cornell University, then conducted research for a year at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany. Joe’s unique talent for making friends and continuing correspondence has helped him develop lasting relationships with fellow researchers and colleagues around the world.

Returning to the United States, he held a teaching post in physics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and co-authored a physics textbook for life science students with Morton M. Sternheim. First published in 1978 by John Wiley and Sons with several revisions since, it is still in use today. Over the past year, Joe and Mort have been asked to participate in yet another review.

When he wasn’t in class, he was probably focused on another of his lifelong passions, standard bred horses. Throughout high school and college, he spent his summers working on standardbred breed farms in southern Wisconsin. While teaching part time, Joe bought a small farm and built a 5/8 mile track to pursue his dream of raising and training standard bred horses for harness racing. Although Joe managed to reach multiple winning circles, the small stakes ultimately pushed Joe towards a more profitable career in computer programming. Carriage racing and horse racing in general, however, remained a focal point throughout his life, a passion he luckily passed on to his daughter, Laura. An annual event like no other, the Kentucky Derby brought special significance as he and Laura would watch the race together. Even while traveling in Europe, Joe searched for tracks from the outskirts of Paris to central Florence as well as a horse breeding farm in Tuscany.

Joe’s computer career began at Amherst during the early days of computer programming. He then moved to Pepperell, Mass., To work at Atex and later at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). At Atex, a software company, Joe’s love for the sport came into play again when he created the baseball statistics software for the Associated Press which aggregated and disseminated results at the levels. national and global. While at DEC, he met various computer experts, including Bill Gates, in discussions about PC software. In 1986 Joe introduced PC All-in-One, developed by his software group, in Valbonne, France. Joe would later represent DEC as the US representative to an international standards committee at meetings in Brussels, London, Helsinki and Paris.

Retiring to Peaks Island, Joe lived 14 happy years with Suzy and their wonderful neighbors and friends. Joe also used some of his new time to pursue his interest in woodworking, a hobby he shared with his grandson Jason. In the fall of 2013, Joe and Suzy fell in love with their current home on Barters Point Road in Tenants Harbor, where they had owned a cottage since 1985. This home provided Joe with a spacious store where he built wardrobes, bookcases and benches while enjoying the view of the harbor and filling the space with classical, jazz and folk music.

A dear neighbor, Anne Hurtt, introduced Joe to the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations and the Camden Conference, where he enjoyed presentations by world-renowned experts, some of whom he knew from his extensive readings. Joe enjoyed the Mid-Coast music scene, especially the DaPonte String Quartet and Mike Whitehead and his fellow musicians. Joe and Suzy found Tenants Harbor very welcoming and delighted with the friendship of neighbors and other members of the Tenants Harbor community, including the helpful staff at Town Hall.

An avid reader his entire life, Joe has enjoyed hunting down bookstores wherever he has lived, including in Paris and Italy where he and Suzy spent several weeks a year during their retirement. There was never a time when Joe was bookless.

Joe was devoted to his family. He took great pleasure in observing and participating in the lives of children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as their adventures and achievements, watching football games and helping to solve math problems and from science to comparing carpentry tools, exchanging book recommendations and sampling recipes. .

Among his family and friends, he was known for his gentle, calm and kind demeanor, intelligence, and problem-solving skills. He had a lovely warm smile with a dimple and a sense of humor. He could surprise and delight you with his wit and ideas, which remained active until the last week of his life.

Joe is survived by his wife Suzy of 41 years, his daughter Laura Kane of Houma, Louisiana, and his grandson Jason LeCompte of Houma, Louisiana, his sons-in-law William P. Cassidy and his partner Catherine Conte of Nantucket and Little Compton, RI, Padraic K Cassidy and his wife Gina Kwon of Los Angeles, and step-grandsons, Max B. Cassidy and Oscar K. Cassidy and several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

The family would like to thank their excellent doctors: J. Timothy DeGrinney, Elizabeth F. Connolly and Sara L. Valente. Dr Degrinney has been caring for Joe since 1999 and he had the utmost confidence in his judgment.

The family would also like to thank the staff at Sussman House for the superb care they provided to Joe during his last week and for their many kindness to the family.

Memories and condolences can be shared with the family at


Donations can be made in memory of Joe at St. George Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Assoc.

P.O. Box 249,

Tenants Port, ME 04860

or for

the Sussman house

40 Anchor Drive

Rockport, ME 04856.


Golden Book


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