Victoria Kane

Obituary of Victoria Ann Kane

Victoria A. Kane, 62, died on December 1, 2023 at Mount Joseph at Waterville after living with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease for the past 10 years. Her devoted partner of 30 years, Martha (Muffy) Eastman, and her loving brother, Bruce Kane of South Easton, MA, were at her bedside. Victoria is also survived by her lifelong best friend, Susan Marsden of Middleboro, MA, her chosen sister, Kate Whouley of Barnstable, MA, loving aunts, uncles and cousins, and many dear friends. She was predeceased by her mother, Rosalie Bingham, her father, Joseph Kane, and her stepfather, Thomas Perry.

Born in Dorchester, MA on March 3, 1961, Victoria graduated from Middleboro High School in Middleboro, MA in 1979. She attended college at the University of Maine, where she spent a semester abroad in British Columbia. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Philosophy in 1983. While a student at the University of Maine, Victoria formed close bonds with two University of Maine professors, Sandy Ives and Jim Acheson, assisting them with various research projects. In 1993 Victoria reached out to folklore professors and archivists throughout the U.S. and Canada to coordinate a nomination for the annual Presidential Public Service Award; she assembled an extensive nominating portfolio for Sandy Ives, who won the award that year.

Mentored by her stepfather, Victoria had learned to shoot a rifle at the Old Colony Sportsmen Association in Pembrooke, MA and began competitive rifle shooting during her pre-teen years. A member of the University of Maine Rifle Team, Victoria was awarded a varsity letter.

After college Victoria worked at Pepino’s Restaurant and later as a Food Manager at the University of Maine Division of Student Affairs, first at the Bear’s Den and then at Fernald Snack Bar. An enthusiastic learner, she earned an Associate Degree in business from the University of Maine at Augusta in 1991. In the late 1990s, Victoria left food service and became an administrative assistant, first working for the departments of Sociology, Native American Studies and Multicultural Programs at the University of Maine, and later serving for thirteen years at the School of Social Work.

Known on campus and beyond for her trademark greeting, “Gracious Hello,” Victoria worked tirelessly to support students, faculty, other staff, and School of Social Work alumni throughout the state. She participated on the Classified Employee’s Advisory Council and was a member of the Friends of Women’s Basketball. For several years on campus, Victoria coordinated participation in the Move and Improve program sponsored by Eastern Maine Medical Center, and she welcomed Spring by collecting donations for the American Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Day. She enjoyed cycling and often rode her bicycle from Bangor to Orono, especially on “Commute Another Way to Work” Day. In 2004, she participated in the first cohort of the University of Maine Diversity Leadership Institute, and she was recognized in 2006 as the Outstanding Classified Employee at the University of Maine.

At a gathering of family and friends at Pilgrim Lodge on June 12, 1993, Victoria began her 30- year-plus partnership with Martha (Muffy) Eastman, now of Brewer, ME, a partnership that she renewed each year “for a year and a day.” Muffy also became her devoted care partner in their 20th year.

A curious and voracious reader, Victoria often read 2-3 books a week, consuming everything from Carl Sandburg’s multi-volume Abraham Lincoln, mysteries, or fantasy to romance stories and fanfiction about Xena, Warrior Princess. Quick-witted and verbally astute, puns came easily to Victoria. She often quoted Walt Whitman, saying “I am large, I contain multitudes,” a very true statement. She loved board games, especially Cranium. Victoria shared her love of words and reading as a literacy volunteer and spent much time serving on the Board of the Hersey Retreat. Over the years she held several roles at the Hersey Retreat, ranging from camp counselor to a brief stint as fill-in cook. Victoria enjoyed vacationing with Muffy and her family at Baxter State Park, and she hiked Mount Katahdin many times. She delighted in hosting Susan’s children, Elizabeth, Michael, and her godson, Sam, and Victoria also loved visiting her sister Kate on Cape Cod. She enjoyed country music, motorcycling, contra dancing, and cross-country skiing. Ethical, sensitive, empathetic, playful, generous, and helpful, Victoria will be remembered for her ever-present thoughtfulness and many acts of kindness. Quick to make amends, Victoria did her best to practice 12-step principles in all her affairs.

Victoria was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers; she knew exactly how many points to count for the number of Tootsie Rolls she wanted to eat. In 2014 and 2015, after her dementia diagnosis, she participated in the American Lung Association’s Cycle the Seacoast in Portsmouth, NH. Living with dementia, she enjoyed attending Memory Joggers and My Friends’ Place at the United Methodist Church on Essex Street in Bangor, ME, where she met many new friends.

Those who wish to honor Victoria’s memory may donate to the “Gracious Hello” team of the Alzheimer’s Association Longest Day fundraiser at
or to the University of Maine School of Social Work online at  or mailed to University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, Maine 04469 in memory of Victoria.

A Celebration of Life will be held on March 3, 2024, from 1-3 p.m. at the Buchanan Alumni House, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME.


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