Margaret McCann


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monday, January 15, 2024
Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home
101 South Finley Avenue
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Mass

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
St. James Church
184 South Finley Avenue
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States


11:15 am - 11:30 am
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Holy Cross Cemetery
Mt. Airy Rd.
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Margaret Rita McCann

Margaret “Rita” McCann, 97, entered eternal rest with her family by her side on Thursday January 11, 2024. Rita was a resident of Basking Ridge, NJ for over 35 years prior to moving in with her daughters in Bernardsville and Flemington, NJ. 

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Rita was the eldest of 10.  She had a full life in Belfast, where she helped her parents raise the family and lived through the Blitz in 1941, during World War II.  She also spent 10 years at the British Admiralty under Winston Churchill. Rita came to New York in 1956 and worked at Irish Pubs/Restaurants and the Dodge Corporation in Manhattan for many years. She married Eugene McCann in 1966. 


Rita was a loving mother to Kathleen and Marie and their husbands Richard Doran and Jim Hopta and adoring grandmother / “Nanny” to Erin (Tim Chesson), Owen and Sean Doran and Luke and Annie Hopta and great-grandmother to Tristan Chesson.  She was also known to many as “Auntie Rita”, especially Sarah and Christopher Carhart, who she cared for alongside her own children for many years.


Family and friends will dearly miss her zest for life, joyous spirit, strong faith and commitment. In addition to her children and grandchildren, Rita is survived by her siblings Monica Wieting and Dominic Kelly, her brothers in law, Frank McCann and Stan Spackman and many nieces and nephews. Rita was pre-deceased by her husband, Gene McCann, her parents, Luke and Annie Kelly and her siblings: Clare Byford, Helen Hughes, Rosaleen Kelly, Sonny Kelly, Marie Lonergan, Theresa McPhail and Ann Spackman and her many in laws.


Rita was very social and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, eating out, dancing, singing and laughing. She loved traveling, particularly on ocean cruises with her husband and river cruises with her daughters later in life. She enjoyed her daily crossword puzzles, watching action shows / movies, knitting and enjoying Sherry and Kit-Kats. She was a member of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Prayer Shawl Ministry where she made beautiful blankets and scarves for the sick of the parish. 


Visitation will be held at Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home, 101 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ on Monday, January 15th, 2 to 5 pm. The liturgy of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday, January 16th at 10 am at St. James Church, 184 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ followed by a burial at Holy Cross Cemetery, Mount Airy Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 


The funeral will be streamed at:


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 816 7713 1196  

Passcode: 0904 


In lieu of flowers or donations, the family requests you offer an act of kindness in Rita’s honor. Whether it be a kind word, an invitation to a meal or to raise a glass – take a few minutes to live like Rita, who was a wonderful example of someone who lived a kind and selfless life, caring for others and offering a good turn consistently throughout her life.


For more information please contact the Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home at 908.766.0250

Share Your Memory of