Local Deaths- Donald Joseph Kane

July 4, 1935 – Aug. 1, 2013

Lifelong Resident of Alameda

Donald Joseph Kane was born on July 4, 1935. As a "Fourth of July" baby, he always enjoyed his patriotic birthdays to the fullest.

His parents were Charles Henry Colton Kane, and Agnes Miller Kane. His mother, Agnes, grew up on Sherman Street and after Don was born, the family lived on Encinal Avenue.

Agnes's father was a blacksmith and Don often recalled that as a child, his mother rode a horse down the street.

Don was born at Alameda Hospital. When he later lived at 2121 Otis Drive as a young man, he would look out the window and say, "Wow! I have come far in life — one block!"

His grandmother taught him to read the local newspaper before he entered the first grade at Saint Joseph's Grammar School. He was soon briefly expelled for calling it a stupid question when asked to read the word "cat" on the blackboard. He often recalled his wonderful days with friends at Franklin Park, where at that time, the basketball court was on dirt. There he also learned how to play the ukulele, enjoyed playing baseball and learned to play tennis.

As a young boy, he started servicing a paper route and kept on until high school (known as the city's oldest and longest paper boy) after which he was able to purchase his first car with his paper route savings. After his route was done, he often treated himself to a chocolate milk shake at a store near Sherman Street. He also liked going to the corner drug store to read the new comic books.

Don went to St. Joseph's High School and even though having to miss one year due to illness, went on to commute to and graduate from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in business.

He drove a laundry truck during the summer to help pay for his schooling.

After college, he briefly worked in sales for Weyerhauser Lumber Company. Not wanting to transfer around the country with that job, he obtained his real estate license and worked for the respected firm of Schmidt and Gravatt in selling their new homes and in resales.

This led to him starting Kane and Associates, Realtors in 1972. He built the company with a reputation for honesty, integrity and full disclosure.

His terrific sense of humor always added to everyone's day. His associates always enjoyed his lively staff meetings, tips on salesmanship and the annual Christmas Party.

With a piano in his home, he learned to play simply by ear and though he could not read sheet music, could entertain his family and friends with many beautiful songs. He was an avid Oakland Raiders fan from the 1960's on. Having a friend on the staff allowed him to go onto the field during many home games.

Don was married to Marie Reiss Kane in 1965. They had two daughters, Julie and Elizabeth, who he taught to swim at an early age. They enjoyed many memorable family trips to Disneyland, Clear Lake and Hawaii. Don could always be found enjoying something with chocolate in it with his girls.

Don was a wonderful grandfather to his grandchildren, Abigail, Ethan and Jack. He often babysat and loved to play games with them. He was so proud of their academic and athletic accomplishments and often took credit for these, saying he or she "got that from me." He let everybody who would listen know how much he loved them.

Donald is survived by his wife Marie. Married but separated, Marie and Don remained lifelong friends. He is survived by his daughters Julie Ileen Jones and Elizabeth Marie Gonzalez and his son-in-law Kenneth William Gonzalez, his grandchildren Abigail Marie Gonzalez, Ethan Ryan Gonzalez, Jack Thomas Gonzalez, his cousin Charles Kane, married to Beth Kane and his cousin Dorothy Schmitt.

Private services will be held. Donations in Don's memory may be made to Alameda Food Bank or a charity of your choice.

Greer Family Mortuary FD 1408


(510) 865-3755



0 #1 chuck brannock 2013-08-09 15:38
Great guy, will be missed, always had a quick wit. Met him in
1969 stayed friends. See you on the other side

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