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John R. McCann

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BENNINGTON -- Mr. John R. McCann, a resident of Washington Avenue, died peacefully at home on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2003, surrounded by his family.

Born in Fitchburg, Mass. on April 13, 1921, he was the son of the late John W. and Helen L. (Sullivan) McCann. He graduated from St. Bernard’s High School, class of 1939, in Fitchburg. He attended Nichols Junior College in Dudley, Mass. on an athletic scholarship and received his associate degree in business administration in 1941. He received his bachelor’s degree in education from Boston University in 1946 and a master’s degree in education from North Adams State College, North Adams, Mass. in 1972.

Mr. McCann served his country in the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and Merchant Marines. During World War II, Mr. McCann volunteered to serve as a combat infantryman in the U S. Army, serving in the Tunisian Campaign.

He served on the staff of the adjutant general, U.S. Army, in Anchorage, Alaska during the Korean Conflict. He taught International Relations and English at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine from 1960 through 1965. Mr. McCann resigned from the Maine Maritime Academy to serve as a licensed Merchant Marine Officer in Vietnam for sixteen months. He was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve and retired from the U.S. Navy in 1981 as a master chief petty officer with more than 30 years of service.

Mr. McCann joined the original faculty of Mt. Anthony Union High School in 1967 as a business education teacher and retired in 1983. While at Mt. Anthony, Mr. McCann taught more than 2,000 students and coached the first MAUHS baseball team to win a Vermont State Championship in 1968.

Mr. McCann was a member of the American Legion Post 13 in Bennington and the Vermont State Teachers Association.

Mr. McCann’s dedication to lifelong learning was exemplified by learning how to use a computer when he was 79 years old in order to volunteer at the Bennington Free Library. Mr. McCann spent the last three years of his life assisting in the creation of a searchable database of news articles from the Bennington Banner. He entered data from 1903 through 1930 before his health prevented him from continuing this work.

Mr. McCann married the former Rita Claire Collette on Oct. 11, 1947, in Fitchburg. Together, they raised five children, traveled throughout this country and overseas, and gave of themselves, their time and energy in every community where they resided.

Mr. McCann is survived by his wife of nearly 56 years, Rita C. McCann of Bennington; five children, Murray McCann and his wife Kimberley of Reston, Va., Michael McCann and his wife Lynne of North Bennington, Cynthia McCann Harvey of Lynchburg, Va., Collette McCann Schoellkopf and her husband William of Buffalo, N.Y., and Paula McCann of North Bennington; four grandchildren, Kathleen and Megan Harvey of Lynchburg, and John and Erin McCann of Reston; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

At the request of Mr. McCann, there will be no calling hours.

A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church in Bennington on Friday, Sept. 26, 2003 at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.

Burial will take place at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Fitchburg on Sept. 27, 2003 at 10:30 a.m.

Charitable contributions in memory of Mr. McCann may be made to the Bennington Free Library through the office of Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, Vermont 05201.

All members of Court St. Andrew No. 259, Catholic Daughters of America are asked to meet at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church on Sept. 26 to attend the services for Mr. McCann.
Published in Bennington Banner from Sept. 5 to Sept. 11, 2003
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