Patrick John Kane, 93, of Sioux Falls passed away peacefully on July 14, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. Pat was born August 22, 1927 to Patrick and Mary (Sinnott) Kane, on the family ranch near Agar, South Dakota.
He ranched with his family until drafted into the United States Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He was stationed in Georgia, Washington, Manitoba, and New Jersey, where he met his future wife, Jean Walsh, at a USO dance at Ft. Monmouth. They married in 1953 and lived in Brookings while Pat completed his B.S. in Agricultural Economics at SDSU. They later moved to the ranch near Agar to raise their family.
Pat wore many hats, trading in his Stetson for a fedora, leaving ranching to attend the University of South Dakota School of Law, and graduating in 1971. After initially practicing law in Salt Lake City, he and his family moved to Sioux Falls in 1973. Pat worked as a Minnehaha County Deputy State's Attorney for several years and continued in private practice until his retirement at age 90.
His clients and fellow attorneys remember him for his work in the context of helping those less fortunate. One colleague wrote, "On those occasions, late in his career, when Pat wasn't sure about the technical issues in the law or whether a cause of action even existed, Pat said, 'what the hell' and just took a shot at helping those who needed help. He wasn't embarrassed if the attempt was awkward or if he had to call a younger lawyer for advice because all that mattered was that he tried to help. His lawyering, and perhaps his life, while sometimes not all that graceful, was charmingly full of grace."
Pat served in the South Dakota House of Representatives, representing District 15 from 1985 until 1992, and was instrumental in legislation making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a South Dakota state holiday. https://www.capjournal.com/opinions/columnist/there-was-a-time-when-one-upmanship-worked/article_af0dc1be-fce1-11e7-8254-03476d94fd36.html
While in office, Pat was informally dubbed "The Conscience of the Democratic Party." He remained active in the party after his service in the Legislature, working as a lobbyist for the ACLU, and attending
Democratic Forum every Friday for many years.
Pat had an enduring love for basketball, playing in high school, the Army, and many a pick-up game at the Sioux Falls Y. He later competed alongside lifelong friends in the National Senior Games - The Senior Olympics for many years in many cities.
Pat whistled while he worked, he was quick-witted and possessed of a wide range of quotes, poetry, songs, speeches, and points of law. He often knew just the right thing to say either to defuse a conflict or to add grit to a battle.
He spent his final years devoting care to his beloved wife Jean until she passed away in 2020 after 67 years of marriage. He was also preceded in death by his parents, sister Kathleen, brother Francis, and nephew Michael. He is survived by his children: Dan Kane of Berlin, Germany; Sheila J. George (Doug) of Santa Cruz, CA; Anne Howell of Salt Lake City, UT; Sam Kane (Vicki) of Kansas City, MO; Nora Kane of Omaha, NE; Mimi Kane of Sioux Falls, SD; and Rita Kane (Erik Passoja) of Los Angeles, CA; brother-in-law David Walsh (Chloe) of Vero Beach, FL; 12 grandchildren: Dorian, Charlie, Ryan, Ray, Anita, Travis, Shae, Sean, Pat, Brennan, Julia, and Isaac; 14 great-grandchildren: Susannah, Cecilia, Finn, Ian, Eleanor, Gideon, Caden, Hunter, Cash, Clayton, CardiMae, Owen, Elliot, and Benjamin; nieces and nephews: Linda Kane, Steve Kane, John Kane, Teri Kornberg, Marty Kane, Bob Kane, Linda Walsh, Anita Walsh, and Ben Walsh; and many loving friends.
Pat's family is especially grateful for the compassion shown by his nurse caregivers in his last days at the Omaha VA Hospital. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Please see https://www.heafeyheafey.com for updates. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials directly to the ACLU https://www.aclu.org/ or the South Dakota Senior Games Http://www.southdakotaseniorgames.org/.
But I hear no yelp of the beast, and the Man is quiet at last,
As he stands on the heights of his life with a glimpse of a height that is higher.
"By an Evolutionist"