Mahlon Gane passed away on April 26. He will be fondly remembered as a husband, family man, sailor, banjo-picker, dear friend and person of faith.
Mahlon Gane was born on June 8, 1925 to Howard and Eva Gane in Flint, Michigan. He was the fourth of six brothers.
During his early years, Mahlon was a choirboy at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint. Mahlon loved to sing and would continue to do so throughout his lifetime. He also explored his faith in many ways.
Mahlon attended Central High School in Flint, and after graduation, entered the Navy. He was proud to serve his country in World War II in the Pacific on the USS Douglas A Munro, and, again, in Korea on the USS New Jersey.
After service in the Navy, Mahlon returned home and went to college at the University of Michigan. He received a B.A. in Sociology in 1950, and an M.A. in Sociology from Wayne State.
In 1947, Mahlon married Faye Rutherford. Together, they raised a daughter and four sons: Janis, Lonnie, David, Steve and Randy. Mahlon later welcomed Pam Morgan and Jim Kuo into his family as if they were his own children.
Mahlon loved sailing, and in 1969 decided to build a boat with his dad and son David. It was a work of great love and passion. He often talked about the joy of three generations working together to build Galatea. From 1976 to 1978, Mahlon and his sons sailed on this boat from Seattle to the South Pacific, staying in Samoa, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia.
Later, Mahlon purchased a sailboat, Shadowfax, aboard which he lived for some time at Shilshole Marina in Seattle, and then at the Boat Haven in Port Townsend.
Mahlon had an outstanding career that spanned diverse geographies and companies, mostly in aeronautics and defense. Employers included Boeing, General Electric Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Chrysler Missile Division, Tri-Cities Atomic Energy, General Motors and the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. He retired from Honeywell as a technical researcher, tester and writer.
In 1992, Mahlon and his second wife, Janine, moved to Kala Point in Port Townsend. These latter years were special times for Mahlon. Mahlon and Janine enjoyed traveling, venturing to France, Spain and Belize, and sailing the local waters of the Salish Sea on Shadowfax.
During a trip to Mexico in 1999, Janine and Mahlon fell in love with Mazatlan and decided to buy a timeshare in that wonderful city. They went there every year for three weeks, enjoying the friendship of many local people. They both loved Mexico, its culture and people.
Mahlon loved to play bluegrass music on his banjo. With local musicians, he formed a band, Southward Bound, which played at many venues, including the Northwest Folklife and Bumbershoot Festivals in Seattle. He joined a second bluegrass group named New Mown Grass that entertained many folk and country fans.
Mahlon relished his monthly breakfast meetings with his men’s group. An avid fan of Gonzaga’s men’s basketball team, Mahlon rarely missed watching a game.
Mahlon was particularly proud of his membership on the board that acquired property to make the long-held vision for the Northwest Maritime Center a reality. He also was a grant-writer for Long Beach Community Action Partnership, a volunteer with non-profit service organization, ECHHO, and the Stephen Ministry.
Mahlon exuded great charm and wit, and held a positive outlook on life. He connected with people easily because he recognized the good in them. He appreciated the gift of life, and lived each day to the fullest. His legacy will live on in all those he touched.
Mahlon was preceded in death by his sons Lonnie Gane and Jim Kuo, as well as his brothers Don, Robert, William, Howard (Linda) and Walter (Rosalie).
Mahlon is survived by his wife Janine; daughters Janis (Gary) Gane Johnson and Pammy Morgan; sons David (Joslin), Steve and Randy; granddaughter Lisa Mitchell (Chris); grandson Tyler Brooks; great-granddaughter Maya Mitchell; great-grandson Tyler Mitchell; step daughters Nicole (Bill), Jennifer (Don) and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Mahlon is planned for this summer.
Donations may be made to ECHHO or the Northwest Maritime Center.