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Sgt John Edwin "W1RWS" Cann
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Birth: Jan. 20, 1924
Baltimore
Baltimore City
Maryland, USA
Death: Apr. 13, 1974
Middletown
Monmouth County
New Jersey, USA

[Click on photos at right to display larger images.] John was the only son of Sara Jones Cann and Samuel Edwin Cann. John's older sisters were Ruth Cann Merkel and Dorothy Cann Pool. He grew up in the Cann home on the Terraces, in the Mt. Washington section of Baltimore, MD; the house is the first brown one on the right as you drive up the hill, and was still standing and occupied last time I visited the Terraces. I recall a conversation that even he may have told me, that he graduated from Hampton Sidney College in Virginia, and the public services librarian at that college has informed me that he did indeed graduate there with a B.A., Cum Laude, in 1948. He served as a sargeant in the U.S. Army in World War II, and at one point was stationed in India. The military might have been where he first developed an interest in radio, which later became a hobby: ham radio. (I've included his call sign in his FindAGrave "nickname" field. Thanks to Susan R. Makky for this info.) When I knew him, he had a resemblance to the late actor Jeffrey Hunter. The alumni catalog reads that he was at the time of the catalog's publication, "Assistant Communications Manager of the American Radio Relay League. U.S.A.A.C. Trained at Ft. Meade, Miami, Sioux Falls. Radio Operator." It also indicated that his place of residence at the time was West Hartford, Connecticut. John also was interested in music, and in the early 1970's had amassed a collection of not only LP records, but antique music boxes, one of which was almost as big as a medium-sized refrigerator. At one point, he also had an antique parlour organ in his den. Another room for a time was filled with ham radio equipment. John had a great sense of humor, and on trips, he would make mental notes of business's neon signs that had various letters burned out, so that the sign would end up communicating something quite different from what the original message was. Since his older sister Ruth's family lived in Saranac Lake, NY, he and family would make trips to visit Ruth & her family. I recall on one visit, he was laughing upon telling the story that when he was there once, he happened to notice that the neon sign for the "Hotel Saranac" had certain letters burned out, and instead it read "Hot Sara." I also remember conversation indicating that he may have owned vacation property in Chateguey (sic?) [pronounced "Shat-a-gay"], NY where they would take their small motorboat and enjoy the lake there. Once while visiting with him and his family, he told us a disturbing story: he was driving somewhere after someone had rear-ended his car. He didn't think anything of this while driving, but later found out that he had passed out, and his car had gradually scraped the side barrier and eventually came to a stop. What he found out had happened was that the damage to the rear of his car had caused carbon monoxide to curl back into the trunk, and from there into the car, causing him to pass out. He noted at the time the bizarre nature of the incident, and the fact that how lucky he was not to have been injured, or worse. John worked as a salesman for many years out of New York City, while residing in Middletown, NJ. Apparently this grind got to him, and a few years before his death he found a business partner and they decided to strike out on their own. What he ended up doing was running a business that made artistic looking clocks by placing the clock works in pieces of driftwood that had been found on the local NJ beaches. When I was in graduate school in the summer of 1973, he was kind enough to help me with a video project I was assigned to do, and my student partner interviewed John talking about and demo-ing his music box collection while I did the videotaping. Shortly after having his 50th birthday, he collapsed while at home, experiencing a seizure. After being admitted to the hospital, it was found that he was suffering from untreatable brain cancer. He passed away in the spring of 1974. There was a time when John smoked, but it is unclear if this was connected with the cancer that finally took his life, since his mother Sara, and sister Ruth both succumbed to cancer. John had a very pleasant manner and easy-going disposition that put everyone around him at ease. He was one of the nicest people I've ever known. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Samuel Edwin Cann (1883 - 1948)
  Sara Jones Cann (1888 - 1966)
 
 Spouse:
  Phyllis Kirby Cann (1926 - 2005)*
 
 Siblings:
  Ruth Cann Merkel (1908 - 1970)*
  Dorothy Cann Pool (1911 - 2007)*
  John Edwin Cann (1924 - 1974)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Fair View Cemetery
Middletown
Monmouth County
New Jersey, USA
 
Created by: Robert B. Pool II
Record added: Jan 26, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10378732
Sgt John Edwin W1RWS Cann
Added by: Robert B. Pool II
 
Sgt John Edwin W1RWS Cann
Added by: Rick Jones
 
Sgt John Edwin W1RWS Cann
Added by: Rick Jones
 
 
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- Kim
 Added: Dec. 31, 2011

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 Added: Jun. 20, 2011

- DS
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