Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation
Honoring The Life Of Dane Britton
Volume 154 , Number 70
Extensions of Remarks
Wed, April 30, 2008
Sen. Jerry Moran
Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of a man who positively influenced the future of central Kansas and in the process touched the lives of thousands of his fellow citizens.
It is a privilege for me to pay tribute to the life of Mr. Dane Britton of Ellsworth, Kansas.
As Kansans, we are dutifully aware of our State motto, Ad Astra Per Aspera, which translates, “To the Stars Through Difficulties.'’ Dane lived this theme with passion.
In 1975, at only 23 years of age, Dane was named Police Officer of the Year for Houston, Texas. Five years later, Dane returned home to Ellsworth to serve as president and chief executive officer of Citizens State Bank–representing the third generation of his family’s leadership at the bank. At the same time, Dane stepped forward as a civic leader in his hometown. He was instrumental in securing construction and expansion of the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. His efforts helped bring Cashco, a manufacturing firm, to the community and helped prevent closure of the Independent Salt Company in Kanopolis, Kansas. Dane also provided leadership for construction of the local Performing Arts Center and the Ellsworth Fire Station. As a member of the Ellsworth City Council, Dane led an effort to establish 911 emergency services to the community. He also served as chairman of the board for Smoky Hills Public Television.
In 1988, Dane was appointed Director of Security and Drug Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Interior. In that role, he oversaw law enforcement responsibilities for all interior department lands–including two presidential emergency centers. In 1992, Dane was selected as one of two Eisenhower Fellows and in so doing became the first Kansan ever chosen for this honor.
Later, Dane moved to Salina, Kansas, where he worked as a stock broker and again established a leadership presence in the community. Dane was elected chairman of the Salina Planning Commission and served on the Salina Community Theater Board of Directors.
Dane touched the lives of many people. His civic leadership was marked by strategic thinking, passion and a willingness to work to make certain that good things happen.
“What he did for Ellsworth was incredible,'’ said Nick Slechta, director of the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce and a longtime friend of Dane’s. “He was very proficient in everything he did. He put so much gusto into every part of his work.'’ I can think of no finer tribute.
Dane’s dedication to his community, the State of Kansas and our country was exceptional. I join Dane’s many friends and admirers in extending my deepest sympathies to his family during their time of loss.