Obituaries

Thomas V. McGann

Died: 2016-03-26
Resided in: Beverly Ma
Viewing type: Private
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Viewing date: 2016-03-26
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Services to be Private



McGann, Thomas Valentine (Val) of Kennebunkport, Maine and Naples, Florida, died in Beverly, Massachusetts after a long illness on March 26, 2016.††Born in Creagh, Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland, the son of the late Tom and Tessie McGann. A true Renaissance man, Val was a native of Ireland who established himself in America in the 1970ís as an internationally recognized painter and athlete, as well as a lover of poetry and music. In his youth Val won 12 decathlon championships and held the Irish pole vault record for six years. Val remained an athlete throughout his life, loved to kayak, and lived to set a world record at the age of 80 in the weight and super weight throw categories at the American Masters Track and Field Championships in Boston. Val was recognized internationally as a marine artist, leaving his village in 1945 to study at the National College of Art, Dublin. A winner of 75 amateur heavyweight boxing fights, he worked as a bobby in London where he became a representative for Guinness, while continuing studies at the Byam Shaw School of Art. Exhibiting in Dublin, London, Moscow, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., he was the first Irish artist to receive national recognition in a 1974 show at the U.S. Capitol Building. Val was popularly referred to as an Irish Winslow Homer, favoring representational seascapes, landscapes and coastal scenes of Ireland and Maine, where he became a longtime resident. In 1969 he met his wife, Anna Houton, a teacher and importer of Irish goods, while she was on a buying trip to Ireland. As manager and promoter of Valís art and galleries, Anna, along with Val were active in supporting Irish culture and the arts, supported many charitable organizations, and resided in Florida and Maine for many years. Val was predeceased by his wife Anna who passed away in February, and a baby, Terrence. Val was a beloved figure and inspiration to his extended family and is survived by three brother-in-laws: Thomas and Donna Houton, Daniel Houton, and John Houton and Dr. Ellen Kantor; and two sister-in-laws: Catherine and Dr. Joseph Benedict, Roseleen and the late George Pyne. Val was also predeceased by two brothers, Joe and Frank, and a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Patricia and Charles Houton. Val and Anna admired, supported and loved their many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, all of whom will remember them lovingly and fondly. Burial will be private.

ONLINE CONDOLENCES:

I was happy to take care of Val at Blueberry Hill, He was a kind man who never asked for much. I was glad to take care of him in his final days. God Bless you all. Thomas aka David
We have just realised Val has departed to join his beloved Anna, Lord have mercy on them both. We had the great pleasure of having them stay with us on their last trips to Ireland -sending our sympathy to the Houton family of whom they both spoke sopke often and so dearly... We will have Mass offered for the happy repose of their souls in Monkstown St Patrick's church which was once painted with funds from a painting exhibition of Val's We will also let the wider family in Ireland know of Val's passing to God Cyril (cousin) and Brenda McGann and family
I first really got to know Val and Anna when they came to stay with us in Dublin when I was about 10 years old. That was the first of several annual summer extended stays at our home. Val was hugely encouraging of our interests in sports - teaching us all to windsurf, and coming down to the sea with us when we first purchased kayaks for the family. He also was responsible for a weight set that lived in our front room for many years. Not sure how grateful my Mum was for that one :-) I loved hearing stories from Val of his antics working for Guinness, and living in the woods in the Dublin mountains. He showed us the very spot he had built himself a hut. I think he ate a lot of wood pigeons in those days! Val and Anna attended our wedding in Texas, and gifted us a beautiful painting of 2 pears with the message" "To Conor and Lisa - A Fine Pair". It has had pride of place in our home ever since. I loved Val and Anna. I am grateful for the wonderful contribution they made to my life. I offer my condolences to the family. We will have a Mass said for them in St. Charles Parish, San Carlos, California. Sincerely, The McGanns of California (Conor, Lisa, Laura, Rory).
I have lovely memories of both Val & Anna, who were so kind as to put me up as an 18 year old student for a summer in their home in Maine. It was an extremely generous gesture and i really appreciated that. Val also taught me how to windsurf in Dublin when he came to visit our family. We will always associate him with love of sport & art and will keep those memories. It is sad that both Val & Anna are no longer with us. I wish to pass on sinxere condolances to all family & friends who feel this loss. Cuala Mc Gann
Both Val and Anna were exceptional people who treated my wife Elly May, my children and myself like family. I have fond memories of Val pole vaulting, wind surfing, painting and more. The loss of both Val and Anna is a great loss for the McKinnon family. Marty McKinnon
Dear Houton Mc Gann Family Sorry to hear of Val's death May he rest in God's peaceful arms with his beloved Anna beside him. I had known Anna for nearly 65 years & am privledged to own one of Val's Maine paintings. We spent a lovely evening with them in New York many years ago . My condolences to all. Prayerfully Kaye O'Donnell Nilan Richardson

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