Daniel “Dan” McCann, 87, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Worcester, MA on Wednesday, December 6, 2023. He will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Dan's beloved wife, Judith Hunter McCann, preceded him in death in 2016, having spent a lifetime together and raising four children before traveling the world. He is survived by his loving children: daughter Judith Yarossi and her husband Peter of Beverly, MA, son T. Hunter McCann and his wife Betsy of Los Angeles, CA, daughter Hilary Crowley and her husband Brian of Dover, NH, and son Wm. Caleb McCann and his wife Rachel of Rye, NH.
In addition to his children, Dan leaves behind a legacy embodied by seven grandchildren: Thomas, Ella, Sadie, Colette, Wyeth, William, and Phoebe. They will all cherish fond memories of their Grandfather.
He is also survived by his two sisters; Ellen M. McNally of Morristown, New Jersey and Kathleen E. Benson of Hanover, NH. And his brothers; Hon. John S. McCann and his wife, Suzanne of Westborough, and Robert C. McCann and his wife, Nancy of Boxford. He also leaves behind sister-in-laws Joanne A. McCann of Worcester and Jeanne A. McCann and her husband, Dr. H. Lee Bishop of Worcester.
Preceding Dan in death were his two brothers: Dr. James C. McCann Jr., Stephen J. McCann, brother-in-law William A. Benson and brother-in-law Peter J. McNally.
Worcester held a special place in Dan's heart; it was the city where he was born, raised, and spent most of his adult years, as well as his final days. During the '70s and '80s, Dan and Judy raised their family on Monadnock Road in Worcester, with Dan often going for morning coffee at his mother’s house who lived on the same road. Neighbors saw Dan frequently roaring by in his dark green Camaro.
Born in 1936 as the middle child of seven children to Dr. James Cole McCann Sr. and Katherine (Connelly) McCann, Dan grew up surrounded by a large close-knit family. In high school, he happened to be more in tune with the styles of the time than his younger brothers, with his D.A. haircut and peg pants.
Dan graduated from Worcester Academy in 1955. He continued his education at Holy Cross College and Babson College, where he earned his MBA. In later years he served as the president of the Worcester Academy Alumni Association.
The call of duty led Dan to serve his country in the United States Navy on the USS Forrestal, an experience that shaped him immensely and instilled values of honor and loyalty. He served onboard the aircraft carrier during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when it was deployed to support the US blockade of the island.
Professionally, Dan made significant contributions in senior leadership roles at Worcester County National Bank, UMass Memorial Hospital, and as owner of a healthcare management consulting firm.
Outside of his professional life, Dan found joy in various pursuits. In his youth, Dan and his siblings grew up summering on Marblehead Neck and sailing out of the Corinthian Yacht Club. The siblings, known as a group outfitted in all red, could be seen cruising from Marblehead to Nova Scotia on their parent’s Salarius, a 32’ Catch. Dan and his siblings learned to sail on the Brutal Beast, a Bodkin boat before the family team began racing Mrs. Ippy, a 110 21’ sloop racing boat. In 1971, Dan and his young family listened to one of the Apollo moon landings on the radio while aboard the Salarius.
Dan also enjoyed summers with his family in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
For years, after moving to Shrewsbury, Dan and Judy enjoyed hosting parties for many of the Worcester Art Museum’s exhibiting artists, including photographers Harry Callahan, Arnold Newman, Tod Papageorge, and Todd Webb.
Dan and Judy both displayed green thumbs and found mutual solace in gardening. Dan was fascinated by the art of beekeeping, sharing fresh honey, and his concern for the alarming decline of bees worldwide. An avid fly fisherman, Dan could frequently be found in a stream or river stalking unsuspecting lunkers with his children, grandchildren, and dear friend John McPherson.
A voracious reader, Dan would often lose himself in the pages of a gripping spy novel. His passion for travel took him around the world, including China and throughout Europe, with Venice being an especially favorite city for Dan and Judy to visit with friends and family. In the southern mountain town of Apice, Italy he embarked on a journey to study the art and craft of olive oil making. Inspired by this experience, Dan penned a book to share his knowledge with others.
Dan was an accomplished photographer, capturing exquisite images ranging from a meditating monk in China to masked revelers at Carnevale in Venice. He greatly appreciated the arts, consistently supporting local artists, music, and cultural initiatives within Worcester County. Every two weeks for decades, beginning in the early 1990s, Dan joined a group of artists at photographer Stephen DiRado’s gatherings called the “Salon” where they enjoyed wine (including Dan’s homemade wine), food, and lively banter.
In the 1970s Dan was on Mechanics Hall’s board during a restoration campaign, which returned this performance venue to its original splendor as one of the top concert halls in North America.
Dan served as treasurer of the board at The Goddard Home in Worcester in the 1980s - a retirement home with a mission to provide friendly and welcoming independent living options for older adults seeking a supportive care environment. In 2021, he returned to Goddard as a resident where he experienced the comfort, friendship, and dignity of their mission.
Dan’s family would like to take this opportunity to express deep gratitude for the kindness and caregiving of his devoted assistant, Iris Martinez. She brought much joy, support, and sincere friendship to his life. Iris’ big heart and professional expertise brought out the best in him every day and he would want this expression of his appreciation, as well as his family’s gratitude, to be enthusiastically clear.
Dan was a man who marched to the beat of his own drum. Those who knew him well will smile when they recall that mischievous grin and spark in his eye. Dan left his beloved hometown Worcester a better place than he found it and will be fondly remembered by all who had the good fortune to call him a friend.
When the weather turns warm in late spring of 2024 a gathering will be held to celebrate Dan’s life at a location to be determined.