Larger than life: Honoring Tom Kane

He was larger than life.

Lifelong Ridgeite Tom Kane – who died in February at the age of53 after a nine-month battle with cancer — is the 2011 RagamuffinParade Person of the Year, an award he received posthumously. Hiswife of 20 years, Ellen Kane, accepted an award in his honor at aluncheon last weekend benefiting the parade.

When the earthquake and hurricane happened, I thought, ‘That’sjust Tommy, stirring things up,’ said Kane, noting that lastyears’ Ragamuffin Parade was the last event he was able to attend.He was Bay Ridge’s own cheerleader. We marveled at his energy, hisenthusiasm for life. He was an eternal optimist. He lovedcommenting on the Ragamuffin parade sidelines.

Kane grew up on 88th Street with his two sisters, Kerry andKimberly, who also accepted the award. He attended St. Patrick’sand then Xaverian High School, where he remained an activealumnus.

Kane was very involved throughout his life in CYO baseball andlocal theater. He loved to perform on stage and eventually wrotehis own musical, The Life and Times of Matthew Ryan, in 1993 forthe Xaverian’s Alumni Group. Kane had other original workspublished at local theaters in Manhattan, but eventually co-foundedBrooklynONE Theater and Film, which serves as a place for artiststo explore the craft of filmmaking.

One of his favorite things to do was take his nephews to thetheater, his wife said, noting that Kane’s favorite role was whenhe played Max Bialystock in a local production of TheProducers.

But that’s not all. Kane also had a column, Citizen Kane inthe Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Tommy’s dream was always to be able to write, his wife said.This job had him doing what he loved most – being out and about,and talking to people.

Kane also formed a special bond with fellow Xaverian alumnusFrancesco Loccisano, who also died at a very early age fromcancer.

This particular person touched him more than any other, Kanesaid, of Loccisano, adding that Kane had joined the board ofdirectors of the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation.

State Senator Marty Golden added. Tommy was so close to him,he said. Now they are both watching over us and looking at theirlegacy. He really was larger than life.

He was a Bay Ridge icon, dedicated to youth, families and thearts, his wife added. He is remembered so lovingly by those liveshe touched in so many ways.

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