In Memoriam: Remembering Michael Kane

Michael R. Kane

Public Works/Sanitation
Oct. 18, 1960–Aug. 9, 2021

By Rita Robinson, Retired General Manager, Transportation; Retired, Deputy Chief
Executive Officer, Los Angeles County; and current Club Board Member

Our beloved husband, brother, son-in-law, uncle, nephew, brother-in-law and devoted friend Michael R. Kane left us after a ten-year battle with Early (Younger) Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Michael loved anything outdoors, daring and fast. He enjoyed swimming, biking, surfing, basketball and golf. Luckily he also loved all genres of music, and that is what connected him to me, the love of his life. Joined in marriage and unconditional love on Nov. 11, 2011 (11-11-11), we celebrated it as the happiest day of our lives. We enjoyed traveling; a honeymoon in Rome, Tuscany and Florence; concerts; our favorite jazz club, Catalina’s Bar and Grill; and spending quality time with our family and friends.

Shortly after our first wedding anniversary, Michael exhibited peculiar behavior, often forgetting routine tasks or details, even how to get to familiar places. Sometimes noticeable, sometimes overlooked, often in denial, the instances became more frequent. Our niece, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, was so concerned she insisted Michael see our doctor immediately. After a few months of numerous physical and neurological tests, Michael was diagnosed with Early (Younger) Onset Alzheimer’s at 51. It led to a progressive decline of mental and physical capacity, eventually rendering him bedridden and totally dependent upon care. Because of his youth and excellent physical health, he lived to fight the disease longer than expected.

A disease that robs you of your ability to work, play, talk, walk, feed yourself or function normally creates a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. One of the most prudent decisions we made as a couple was to purchase Long-Term Care insurance from the Employees Club. Being prepared for life’s possible curveballs is essential. Considering the length of Michael’s illness, the insurance was a financial lifesaver for our family. Michael was cared for at our home with caregivers for four years. The remaining six years he resided in an assisted living home to receive the specialized care he required.

In life, there are no guarantees of happily ever after. We remain grateful for every single good day. And we pray for our faith to sustain us through the not-so-good days. Besides our immediate family and close friends, many City and County of Los Angeles staff joined our journey; provided help and prayers; shared the pain and tears; and helped us to survive and thrive. The Employees Club represents the best of the heart of the public employees — loyalty, dedication and commitment to its residents and to one another. Our family is forever grateful for the services offered and support available to all its members.

Rita Robinson is a retired City and County employee; former LACEA Board member; and current member of the Employees Club Board.