James Anthony McCann

Sept. 18, 1950 - April 8, 2017
James Anthony McCann, Sept. 18, 1950 - April 8, 2017

James Anthony McCann, a longtime resident of East Hampton who moved three years ago to Spokane, Wash., died there on April 8 of renal failure. Mr. McCann, who was 66, had had a number of other health complications over the past year.

He was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 18, 1950, the only child of James W. McCann and the former Mildred Morisie, and grew up in West Islip, graduating from West Islip High School. A talented athlete, he was a star of both the football and basketball teams. To this day, some of the records he set on the court remain unbroken.

After high school, he maintained an active lifestyle, enjoying surfing, sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, and sport fishing. He briefly attended New York University. A music lover and woodcarver, he became an apprentice at Favilla Brothers in New York City, a well-known maker of quality stringed instruments. A move to Boulder, Colo., led him to new career prospects. He managed a club called the Blue Note, booking its musical acts, and started an import and export business specializing in rare Native American artifacts, European furniture, and handcrafted Asian carpets.

When he relocated again, to Manalapan, Fla., he opened a successful tree nursery business in West Palm Beach. Eventually he returned to New York, where, starting in 1991, he split his time between the city and East Hampton.

Mr. McCann and his wife, the former Jenna Coffey, raised their three children, Mackenzie, Abigail, and James Shane, in East Hampton. The couple divorced in 2007 after 16 years.

She survives, as do their children, all of whom live in East Hampton. He is also survived by a son from a previous marriage, John Patrick McCann of Santa Barbara, Calif., a daughter from an earlier relationship, Iyree Smith of Columbia, S.C., and two grandchildren. Another son, Casey McCann, died before him, as did his parents.

Mr. McCann was cremated. The family will hold a memorial service in East Hampton at a future date.