Billy McCann

Posted: Friday, January 26, 2001

Longtime Kenai resident Billy McCann died Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2001, at the Sitka Pioneer's Home. He was 84.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kenai Merit Inn.

He was born William Addison McGinty in Grano, N.D., on June 25, 1916, to William Patrick McGinty and Myrtle Gertrude Leeson McGinty. He was the first of five children.

Mr. McCann moved to Washington as a young man, where he began his boxing career. He changed his name to Billy McCann for professional purposes and was a popular boxer in the lightweight division during the late 1930s, especially in Alaska, where he won several championships.

He stayed in Alaska and worked as a bartender at several cocktail lounges in Anchorage, before moving to Kenai to work as an electrician at the Wildwood Air Force Station. He also worked on the construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. After moving to Kenai, he was a partner in the Rig Bar and later owned the Royal Redoubt's Black Gold Cocktail Lounge.

Mr. McCann made many friends in the Kenai area and was a well-respected resident of the community. He served as a Kenai City Council member for the first full city council in 1960 and later served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly from 1967 to 1969. He was a founding member of the Kenai Bill's Club, which later became the Elks Club. He also was an active member of the Lions Club, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and many other community organizations.

"Billy was a generous man who was always willing to help," his family and friends said, "Billy McCann, always was a quiet gentleman who tipped his hat to a lady."

Mr. McCann is survived by his brother, Eugene H. McGinty of St. Louis, Mo.; his sister, Audrey Cathleen McGinty Medcalf of Poulsbo, Wash.; 11 nieces and nephews and 13 great-nieces and great-nephews.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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