Kane, who had struggled against against his illness for more than a year, died peacefully at his home in the company of family and friends late Monday night. Earlier that day, some 100 of his companions in the L Street Running Club of South Boston had competed in the Boston Marathon wearing special arm patches that read, "Going the Distance With Jim Kane."
"There was a goodness and innocence about him, a wonder at the world," recalled Undergraduate Admission Director John Mahoney Jr., a close friend. "You met him once and you knew you liked the guy. He literally did not have an enemy in the world."
A Connecticut native, Kane was born in Waterbury in 1944 and grew up in Naugatuck, where he was inducted into the town Hall of Fame in 1987 for his success as an athlete and as a role model to the young. Kane was an All-American swimmer at Southern Connecticut State University, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in English in 1966.
He was president of his graduating class at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, from which he received a master's degree in English in 1973. Kane received a master's degree in divinity from Weston School of Theology in 1975.
As a Jesuit, Kane was an English teacher and award-winning swim coach at Boston College High School from 1970-72 and 1976-81, and was a member of the high school's Board of Trustees from 1982-88.
Kane oversaw vocations as director of admission for the New England Province of the Society of Jesus from 1986 to 1992, and was co-chairman of the National Board of Jesuit Vocation Directors from 1988-92.
He was assistant director of admission at Boston College from 1981-84 and 1985-86, and served in the job part-time from 1986-89. After leaving the Society of Jesus, he returned to Boston College in a lay capacity in 1993 to serve as senior assistant director of admission.
Kane remained a devoted amateur athlete, running 10 marathons and competing as a swimmer on the masters level.
He leaves his wife, Cheryl, a sister and two brothers.
Visiting hours will be held today from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Alfred D. Thomas Funeral Home, 326 Granite Ave., Milton.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Brain Tumor Research, c/o Dr. Howard Fine, Dana Farber Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston, 02115.
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