Obituary: William J. McCann, 77, formerly of Portsmouth

William J. McCann, 77, of Tiverton and formerly of Portsmouth, a longtime Portsmouth High School teacher, entered eternal life on Saturday, August 5, 2017.
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PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Surrounded by family, William J. McCann, 77, of Tiverton and formerly of Portsmouth, entered eternal life on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Tockwotton on the Waterfront in East Providence. He was the husband of Ann Marie T. (Cox) McCann. 

Born in Fall River, MA, he was the son of the late Phillip A. and the late Cecilia F. (McMichael) McCann. 

William was a graduate of Rogers High School in Newport and Rhode Island College, and went on to earn a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University. He taught architectural drawing at Portsmouth High School for over 30 years, eventually chairing its Industrial Arts Department. He was an early leader in the use of computer-aided drafting, and collaborated with Raytheon to provide his students with early access to the emerging technology. 

William was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, continuing to serve his country as a reservist and retiring with the rank of Captain. He was a frequent and popular instructor at the Officer Candidate School at the Naval Station Newport. Upon his retirement, he worked at the Preservation Society of Newport County, and delighted in giving tours and sharing his extensive knowledge of the mansions of Newport. 

William, or Papa to his grandchildren, was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was a skilled carpenter, and among many other projects, he built a finely-crafted tree house for his grandchildren. 

Besides his wife of 53 years, he leaves his children William McCann and his wife Karen of Shirley, MA and Beth Burnett and her husband Robin of Tiverton. William was the grandfather of Nora McCann, Niamh McCann and Eamon McCann as well as brother of John McCann of Milford, CT.

He was preceded in death by his two sisters Joan Smith and Mary Ruddell.

Calling hours will be held Monday, August 14, 2017 from 3:00 to 6:00PM in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. 

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 9:00AM from the Memorial Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00AM in St. Joseph’s Church, Broadway at Mann Avenue, Newport. Burial will be in St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.

In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 245 Waterman Street, Suite 306, Providence, RI 02906

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