October 2, 2021

Former Sabbath School Editor Erwin Gane Passes Away at 90

Erwin Roy Gane, a former editor of the Sabbath School Bible study guide, passed away in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States, on September 26, 2021. He was 90.

Gane was born in Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia on March 18, 1931. He studied theology and served as a Bible teacher, religion professor, and pastor throughout his career. Gane was married to Winsome Lillian Baron from 1953 until her death in 2017, and together they had two sons, Roy and Calvin.

His son Roy, professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, said his father “introduced me to Christ, instilled in me a love for God’s Word, and encouraged me to pursue deeper study of the Bible in its original languages.” It is something, Roy said, that led to his service in teaching and research writing at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.

Roy added that his father influenced many people for God through his teaching, preaching, and writing. “His greatest impact on the world church was through nurturing Bible study and Sabbath School classes as the editor of the Adult Bible Study Guide.”

In Australia, Erwin Gane taught at Sydney SDA High School and Avondale College (now Avondale University) and was a pastor at Cessnock in New South Wales. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1962 in pursuit of graduate studies in theology, which he obtained at Andrews University (MA, MDiv, and MTh) and the University of Nebraska (PhD). Gane taught religion at Union College and Pacific Union College and was a pastor in Michigan, New Jersey, and California. He served at the General Conference of the Adventist Church in the White Estate (1981-1983) and as the editor of the Sabbath School Adult Bible Study Guide (1986-1995).

“Doctor Gane’s sincere love of Christ, his deep devotion to God’s Word, and his heartfelt commitment to the church were qualities I came to admire,” Sandra Blackmer, who served as his editorial assistant in the early 1990s, said. At the time, Gane was editor of what was then called the Adult Sabbath School quarterly. “He had a strong work ethic, paid great attention to detail, and could quickly answer off the top of his head almost any question put to him,” Blackmer shared.

According to Blackmer, however, one of his most memorable qualities was his sense of humor. “He rarely missed a day of sharing a joke or an amusing anecdote, adding a light moment to our busy work hours,” she said. “His passing is certainly a loss to their family, their friends, and the church.”

Over the course of his life, Gane wrote nine books and several scholarly and professional articles. His burning ambition was to provide readable explanations of the Advent message on the books of Romans, Galatians, and Revelation.

Gane found great joy in teaching students and church members and leading them to a closer walk with Christ. He taught Sabbath School at the Adventure Church in Greeley, Colorado well into his eighties and was always looking for opportunities to tell people about his Savior.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Winsome. Gane is survived by two sisters, Marie (married to Lyle Munro) and Ruth (married to Wallace Irvine); sons Roy (married to Connie Clark) and Calvin (married to Amy Grimes); grandchildren Adam Gane (married to Mandi Griffin), Tiffany Gane (married to Paul Seevers), and Sarah Gane (married to Kevin Burton); and seven great-grandchildren.