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- My Dad -

John Edward Kane, Sr.


John Edward Kane, Sr., the second eldest of John A. and Rose Lamon Kane's children, was born in Philadelphia, PA on March 11th, 1910. Referred to by the family as "r Johnny", which Philly slang for "our Johnny". In fact, all of us were "r-somebody". His sisters related that he was "mischevious but not bad" child.

In September 1924, he entered Roman Catholic High School (pictured right as it looks today) from which he graduated on June 12th, 1928.

Photo of Roman Catholic High School

obtained from school website

In 1931, he entered St. Joseph's College,

majoring in journalism. He graduated from St. Joe's (as it is locally known) on June 20th, 1934.

Dad had always enjoyed sports. He played both football and basebase as a youngster but, in college, he was on the football team. I don't know what his college football skills were but he was a fairly decent baseball player. At least, decent enough to be hired as a semi-pro player with the Philadelphia "A's", which he joined in 1931 and played with for several years.

On May 13, 1936, Dad married Roberta Inez Ellison (pictured here on the Atlantic City boardwalk shortly after their marriage), whom it is said was introduced to him by a mutual friend. As the story went, Dad was playing in a football home game for St. Joe's. Their their mutual friend invited Mom to go with her to the game. Afterwards, Dad came over to say hello to the friend and in so doing met Mom, who told me she was engaged to another gentleman at the time. Dad didn't care and kept asking her for a date - eventually, she agreed.

Mom was of the Baptist faith; my father was Roman Catholic. While my profoundly devout grandmother was said to have been fond of her, she disapproved of her son's dating "out of his faith". The consideration of their marrying was, for her, not an option. Dad had apparently brought up the proposal a few times and Mom had declined, indicating she wasn't ready to make that commitment.

Mom was a determined person. Those who knew her can attest that, throughout her life, she was intent on getting her way and despised being told she couldn't have or do something. According to her, she was having dinner one Sunday with the Kane Family at their home. During the meal, Nanna was said to have told her pointedly that, because of my mother's faith, "'ll never marry my son." It was then and there that she turned to Dad and said, "Ask me now." He did; she accepted...and, knowing her, no doubt gloated at her having "won" the wedding vs faith debate. But, whatever the series of events that took place, they did marry. At the time, mixed-faith marriage ceremonies could not be conducted inside the church building. It was common practice in 1934 (and for decades thereafter) that such ceremonies, when approved and only after the non-Catholic party agreed to raise the children as Catholics, was held in the parrish rectory or a small offset chapel at the main church structure. There wedding was no different. I have never seen a picture of them marrying and I don't think any were taken.

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