James W. Canan
James W. Canan
  • July 9, 1929 - December 23, 2017
  • Arlington, Virginia

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James William Canan, 88, died Saturday, December 23, 2017, after a long illness. He is survived by his children, Michael Canan (Joan), Martha (Phil) Rowley, Ruth Canan, Sara Canan, and Timothy Canan (Aileen); and his grandsons, John and Joseph Canan, and Alexander and Benjamin Canan. Mr. Canan was born in New Castle PA, July 9, 1929, the son of Edwin E. and Frances L. Canan. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Joan Mary (Conlin) Canan. James graduated from New Castle High School in New Castle and Westminster College in New Wilmington PA, and he completed U.S. Army officer training at Fort Benning GA. He served as an intelligence officer in Europe during the Korean War and worked at the Armed Forces Security Agency and its successor, the National Security Agency, in Arlington VA. Following military service, Mr. Canan undertook graduate studies in journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston IL, followed by stints as correspondent for the Youngstown OH Vindicator and the Binghamton NY Press before moving to Arlington VA in 1960. At that time, Mr. Canan joined the Gannett Newspaper Group in Washington DC, where he was part of a reporting team that received a Pulitzer Prize special citation award for Gannett's program in utilizing newspaper group resources to complement the work of its individual papers. Mr. Canan later joined the Washington Bureau of McGraw-Hill, where he instituted the defense research and development beat for Business Week magazine. Mr. Canan continued reporting on defense-related issues at Air Force Magazine in Arlington for more than a decade until his retirement in 1994.

Throughout his career and into retirement he contributed freelance articles to a variety of publications including Aerospace America and won numerous awards, including the Royal Aeronautical Society's Aerospace Journalist of the Year award in 2003. Mr. Canan also authored two books on defense technology issues. A resident of Arlington for 57 years, Mr. Canan was a parishioner at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

Friends and family will be received at the MURPHY FUNERAL HOME of ARLINGTON, 4510 Wilson Blvd. from 2 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8 p.m., Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Funeral Mass will be said at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 3901 Cathedral Lane, Arlington, VA 22203 at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 3 followed by interment at Fairfax Memorial Park. A reception will follow at the Cathedral. Donations to Catholic Relief Services.