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KENNETH R. LANE - Canadian Olympian

posted Jan 26, 2010, 3:37 PM by Hector Carranco   [ updated Jan 26, 2010, 3:48 PM ]
"Ken was a long time committed volunteer to canoeing.  A huge loss to our community." - Sue Holloway.

It is with great sadness that the family of Ken Lane announces his passing on January 22, 2010 at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.

Beloved husband of Madge for almost 60 years. Loving father of Christine (Ray) Klassen, Laurel (John) Lane-Moore, Robin (Lew) Maginniss, Lisa (Brian) Lane-Henchey. Dear grandfather to Jordan (Tora), Lorian (Brock), Nathan, Josh (Jenn), Joel, Dana, Janine, Adam, Megan, Emily, Matthew and Patrick. Loving brother to Norm (Doris) Lane. Ken was predeceased by his brother Leslie (Jean) and sister Shirley. Ken will be greatly missed by friends and family as many expressed their love and admiration for him prior to his passing. The family was most appreciative of the excellent care he received at the Princess Margaret Hospital. A special thanks to Dr. Shimmer, Jan Macraf, Dr. Letinski and all the nurses on the 15th and 18th floors. 

Ken was a lifetime member of the Balmy Beach Canoe Club where he developed a long association with sports, both as an athlete and a builder who has made an outstanding and extraordinary contribution to amateur sport in Canada. After returning from service in the Air Force, his first championship came in 1946 in the C-2 1,000 meters with his great friend of 76 years Hank Farentosh. As the years passed, Ken won over 14 gold medals in international competitions to go along with 19 Canadian championships and of course the silver medal with partner Don Hawgood in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games (a photo finish after 10,000 meters). It was the first medal won for Canada at those games. He continued winning championships in the masters class. His last race was in 1991. 

Ken was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2003. As an administrator, he served as treasurer of the Western Ontario Division of the Canadian Canoe Association from 1945-2000. Ken has served as manager of the Canadian Canoe Team for the 1967 Pan Am Games and the 1972 Munich Olympics. He was an official for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. In 1974, Ken was one of the founders of Canoe Ontario and served as its first president. In a lifetime of service to sport, he has served as a commodore, flag officer, president, treasurer, director, numerous committees, announcer, historian and was always the voice of reason. His awards include the highest CCA award for a volunteer, the R. Edgar Gilbert Award in the builder category. Ken was also the recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Award for volunteer service. Ken was active as a volunteer in canoeing and continued to be a fundraiser extraordinaire at age 86. 

He also competed in another sport - squash, introduced to him while at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. After graduating in 1949, he continued to compete and won the Ontario Singles Championship in 1974. He also won numerous Canadian Masters Championships to go with several medals in the World Masters Competition. Ken continued to play doubles squash with a group of mature players until the age of 85. In July 2009 after 7 months of leukemia treatments, Ken competed in his final golf tournament and finished first in the retirees category. Ken was a lifelong avid player of duplicate bridge, partnered with his wife Madge and he also played in a men's league. Ken was a past president of the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, where he was an active member for 50 years. He also enjoyed a long relationship with the Toronto Racquet Club. 

Ken enjoyed a long and distinguished 38-year career at Sears Canada Inc. After taking early retirement in 1984, he continued to serve as part of the Sears Forum Group. On the day of Ken's final Sears Forum meeting in December 2009, he was receiving two chemo treatments at the hospital. When the first treatment was completed, he took a taxi to the meeting where he delivered the closing note address, then returned to the hospital to complete his treatment. 

Ken treasured his family time with his wife Madge and his four daughters Christine, Laurel, Robin and Lisa and their families. He also travelled extensively during a very busy and active 24 years of retirement. 

Funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 1 p.m. at the St. Nicholas Church, 1512 Kingston Rd., Toronto. Friends will be welcomed at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club to celebrate Ken's life following the service. 

If desired, donations to the Princess Margaret Foundation, leukemia cancer research would be appreciated. Condolence and memories may be sent to the McDougall and Brown website http://www.mcdbrownscarb.ca McDougall and Brown Funeral Home 2900 Kingston Rd., Toronto, Ontario