Ray Alan McCann, age 90, passed away peacefully on June 26, 2020 at his home after a brief illness with his wife and sons at his side. He was survived by his brother Lee in Petaluma; loving wife of nearly 64 years, Virginia (Kelly); son Doug (Cathy) in Ohio; son Steve (Shanna) in Windsor; grandson Ben (Stephanie) and great granddaughter Alexis in Mountain View; grandson Jon (Elisha) in San Francisco; and granddaughter Beth in Washington DC. He was predeceased by his father Herbert, mother Grace (Scammon), and brothers Herbert and Ronald.
Ray was born in Oakland, CA in 1929, and lived in Napa since the age of 3. He was a lifelong engineer and craftsman, constantly building solutions for the world around him. As a boy he could be found with his brothers and friends repairing a WWII amphibious jeep. He was active in scouting, reaching the highest rank of Eagle, attended the International Scout Jamboree in France in 1947, was a member of the Order of the Arrow, and was a mate in the Napa Sea Scouts. As a young man he continued his scouting for over 30 years holding several leadership positions and was National Grand Commander in the Knights of Dunamis, an Eagle Scout honor/service group.
Ray received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1954 from U.C. Berkeley, where he was treasurer of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and subsequently was president of the fraternity Alumni Control Board. His professional career was devoted to Basalt Rock Company in Napa, which later became Dillingham Construction. He obtained his professional engineering licenses in both civil and structural engineering, and became the Chief Engineer at Basalt’s Precast Concrete Division where he designed and detailed many prominent California bridge and building components and facades.
Ray was a Fellow in the American Concrete Institute and former president of its Northern California/Nevada chapter, and was a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was a member of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, the Prestressed Concrete Manufacturers Association, and the Structural Engineers Association. He authored several professional papers, spoke at numerous professional functions, and was active in updating regional and national building codes. He was a pioneer in introducing and refining Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete for the nation’s construction industry.
Ray’s talents were renowned at home too. He designed and oversaw the construction of a mid-century modern home for his “great Irish lass” Virginia, where they lived since 1962, and raised their two boys. Throughout his lifetime he could be found adding custom features to the home including a 28-foot tall rocket for his young sons to climb which caught the attention of many that drove by the house. He also enjoyed skippering his cabin cruiser throughout the numerous channels of the Sacramento/San Joaquin delta.
Ray was extremely proud of his three grandchildren and their continual successes both professionally and personally. At age 90 he could be found in his garage building a rocking horse for his great granddaughter whose videos brought him smiles in his final days. Our hearts are broken and we will miss you dearly, but your love and legacy will last an eternity. God bless you.
A private burial was held at Tulocay Cemetery. A celebration of Ray’s life will be hosted for family and friends at a later date. If desired, donations in Ray’s memory may be made to St. Apollinaris - Religious Education Program, 3700 Lassen St, Napa, CA 94558.
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