Obituary: Shirley McCanna, 98, Former Town Treasurer

Shirley A. McCanna, 98, passed away Sunday, February 9th at Grace Barker Nursing Center. Born in Warren to the late Senator William J. Smith and Emma (Nerone) Smith, she was a lifelong resident of Warren.

Ms. McCanna worked at John McPike Insurance Agency and then as a telephone operator at the Warren Telephone office. Later, she managed her father’s pharmacy for many years and became co-owner with her sister, Joyce. In 1968, she ran for Tax Collector and served until 1974, when the position evolved into Town Treasurer/ Tax Collector. She retained this position until her retirement in 1984.
During her tenure, she was a member of the Executive Board of the RI State Municipal Finance Association and served on the Executive Committee Tax Officials Association. 

As an active member of the Warren Democratic Party for over fifty years, she was Treasurer of the Warren Democratic Town Committee for many years. She was actively involved in the former Warren Women’s Democratic Club serving first as Treasurer and later as President. 

As a member of the Democratic State Committee since the sixties, she was on the Democratic State Executive Committee. In 1966, she worked diligently for the election of Claiborne Pell to the United States Senate serving as Bristol County Coordinator for Senator Pell. 

She is survived by her daughter, Patricia A. Harvey and her husband Paul; a sister, Mary Alfred of Warren; her greatly loved grandchildren, Kathy, Beth and Paul Jr.; her cherished great-grandchildren, Ashlee, Courtnee, Joseph, Meaghan and Alexa; and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Frances Coyne, Augustine W. Smith and Joyce S. Primiano. 

Arrangements are with Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd, Warren, where family will receive friends Wednesday, 4-8pm. Funeral Thursday, 9am from the funeral home, 10am in St Mary of the Bay Church, 645 Main Street, Warren. In lieu of flowers donations in her memory may be made to: St Mary of the Bay Church or WFD Rescue, 1 Joyce St., Warren, RI 02885.


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