William McCann – Feb. 4

William John McCann, M.D., MPH, of Essex, CT, and formerly of Pelham, NY, passed away on Saturday, February 4, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. He was predeceased by Joan Celia McCann, EdD, his cherished wife of 64 years, on September 29, 2022. Bill and Joan had been sweethearts since the 9th grade at Medford High School in Massachusetts.

For 34 years, Dr. McCann worked at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, NY, and had a private medical practice in Bronxville, and then in Scarsdale, NY, practicing internal and preventive medicine. He later opened a small practice in Essex and Old Saybrook, CT, prior to retiring.  His greatest joy was serving his patients with compassion. Early on in his medical career, he worked as an attending physician, Internal Medicine, at Harlem Hospital Center, Columbia University, and participated in community health medicine in East Harlem in conjunction with Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He served in the Public Health Service in the 1960s, and studied issues, such as tuberculosis and infectious lung disease with indigenous people of Alaska.

Dr. McCann held degrees from Boston College, New York Medical College, and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. While commuting to Boston College to study AB Greek, he became close friends with fellow commuter, James R. Halpin. As a result of this comradery, Bill’s daughter and Jim’s daughter later became lifelong friends at the College of the Holy Cross. One of Bill’s passions was watching a University of Michigan football game and cheering “Go Blue!” along with the team. When not rooting for Michigan, Bill enjoyed painting, and could be heard happily playing Broadway musical songs on his beloved piano. He would often  play the Jule Styne and Bob Merrill beautiful song People, from the musical Funny Girl. The song’s lyrics, ”People who need people are the luckiest people in the world,” holds particular meaning for Bill’s love of service and working with people.

Above all, Bill loved his family, which includes his daughter Susan K. McCann; son, Peter C. McCann; daughter-in-law, Diane Fusco McCann; Diane’s parents, Sheila Hanna and Ed Fitzgerald of NYC, and his three beautiful granddaughters, Annie C. Brown, Lily H. McCann, and Wylie E. McCann; sister-in-law, the Most Reverend Dianne Sullivan and brother-in-law, John Sullivan of Windsor, CT; brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Christine McCann of Woburn, MA; goddaughter, Maureen McCann Rickenbacker; godson, Keith Sullivan, and many loved nieces and nephews.  His mother was the late Ruth Mahon McCann of Brookline, MA.

Susan McCann and Peter McCann wish to extend gratitude to the caring staff of Madison House, as well as Kathy Lempicki, Leroy Bailey, and the Essex Ambulance Association. A private burial was held in February; the family will announce plans for a celebration of life later in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to the University of Michigan School of Public Health https://sph.umich.edu/ or to the Essex Ambulance Association Essex Ambulance Association – Ambulance, Emergency Services (essexems.org).

To share a memory of Bill or send a condolence to his family please visit www.rwwfh.com . Arrangements are in the care of the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, CT.

Editor’s note: This obituary was provided by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home.