Dr. Wilton Rogers Kane

1929 – 2021

Wilton Rodgers Kane, M.D.,92, died peacefully Feb. 1, 2021, in Seattle, WA; his wife and youngest daughter were with him.  Born in Nashville, TN, Dr. Kane spent most of his life in Florida, and loved his home state dearly, especially the beaches, woods and lakes of Northeast Florida.  His parents, Bernard E. Kane, M.D., of Kane, PA, and Ruth Wade Kane, of Kenton, TN, settled in Crescent City, FL in 1939. Dr. Kane was baptized and confirmed in the Presbyterian Church, the heritage of both parents.  A 1946 graduate of Crescent City High School, he received a B.S. with honors (1950) University of Florida, and his M.D. (1956) Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA.  He completed five years of residency training, four in surgery at Duval Medical Center, Jacksonville, FL.  Dr. Kane was a fourth-generation physician, preceded by his father, grandfather (Evan O. Kane), and great-grandmother (Elizabeth D. Wood Kane).   Dr. Kane began his medical experience as a teen-ager, assisting his father.  In 1943-44, while still in high school, he helped his father with the U.S. government clinics in Palatka and Bunnell aimed at eliminating social diseases among local men during WWII.

In 1963, Dr. Kane moved his young family to rural Live Oak, Florida, to practice medicine, obstetrics, and general surgery.    One of four local physicians, Dr. Kane made morning hospital rounds and house calls, saw patients after hours for emergencies, and accepted phone calls at home, in addition to his regular office hours.  Dr. Kane provided “patient centered care” before the concept was invented.  He was knowledgeable, compassionate, devoted to study and improvement, read medical journals late into the night, and “met his patients where they were.”  He helped many patients address the root causes of their chronic health conditions, and developed nutrition plans to guide them with great success.  Most notable was his weight loss diet similar to the famous “Scarsdale diet,” but much earlier in time and less extreme.  In 1972, Dr. Kane brought his family to Tallahassee, FL, to open a general practice and eventually he built Mahan Medical Walk- In.  He was assisted by his wife Nancy, his office manager; they worked as a team. Upon announcement of Dr. Kane’s plans to retire in 2007, there was an outpouring of appreciation from his many patients, and he was the subject of a “My View” column in the Tallahassee Democrat, “In Praise of Dr. Kane, a One-of- a- Kind Doctor,” Aug. 15, 2007. After retirement, Dr. Kane worked part-time and maintained his medical license until age 90. Dr. Kane was a member of the Leon County Medical Society and the Florida Medical Association.

Dr. Kane enjoyed life to the fullest, productive in all he did. He enjoyed fresh and saltwater fishing and hunting with friends. He was an avid gardener, growing roses, camellias, azaleas, and other flowers, as well as blueberries, muscadine grapes, sugar cane, his famous tomatoes and a large summer garden.   He kept an orange tree alive in Tallahassee through the worst of freezes.  He appreciated the old traditions, taking his sugar cane to Lee, FL, for cane grindings to bottle his own cane syrup. In later years, he and his wife enjoyed travel to Seattle to visit their youngest daughter, and took up a part-time residence with outings to the surrounding dramatic countryside.

Dr. Kane is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Nancy Ann; four children: Clinton Sean Kane (Angela), Lisa Kane DeVitto (Ralph), Robyn Dayle Stevenson (Lawrence), and Jeannette Kane (Ray Littell-Herrick); six grandchildren:  Katharine Stevenson (Alex Heitlinger), Sam Wilton Stevenson, Jacob Rodgers Kane, Jeremy Kane, and Sylvienne and Annelise Kane-Littell-Herrick; and two great-grandchildren.  Other survivors are brothers, Jean Duval Kane, Dr. Bernard Evan Kane, and Wade O’Hara Kane; nieces and nephews, and many cousins.

Plans are being made for an online Celebration of Life through Gatheringus.com, by invitation.  Please contact a family member, if interested.  Arrangements are by Recompose, Seattle, WA. Interment will occur later in Crescent City, FL.  Gifts in memory of Wilton Rodgers Kane may be made to the Putnam Land Conservancy, www.putnamlandconservancy.org  P.O. Box 8, Palatka, FL, for the purchase of conservation land in his memory.

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