Island Park mourns loss of ‘Doc’ McGann


The Island Park community bade a heartfelt farewell earlier this month to beloved Fire Department member and community leader Edward J. “Doc” McGann, who died peacefully on Nov. 8. He was 92.

Born on March 30, 1931, McGann had a lifelong journey of service, and was a pillar of the Island Park community. He served in the Fire Department for over 70 years as firefighter, chief and commissioner, and was described by many as a selfless and upstanding mentor who always spoke from the heart. Edward was an active member of the Island Park community, a Eucharistic minister and a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

He was retired from his career as a firefighter. He loved Sacred Heart Church and the village, and was devoted to his wife, Geraldine, and their children, Daniel, Kevin, Kerrie and Jacqueline.

An Island Park native, McGann was the son of John and Phyliss McGann. His father served as mayor of Island Park. In his later years, Edward became a political leader, and was the executive leader of the Island Park Lido Point Lookout Republican Committee.

“People trusted him dearly, and he helped people in all kinds of situations,” Kevin McGann said. “He was basically a rock in the community. After all these years, people looked up to him, trusted him and gave a lot of credibility to anything that he was associated with.”

His son said that McGann’s sense of duty to the community and family values were his greatest legacies, inspiring his children and grandchildren to prioritize family above all else.

“He always kept us humble, no matter how successful,” Kevin said. “He always kept us grounded, and wanted the best for us. It’s the same thing that I instill in my children. I want the best for them.”

“I’ve known Doc my entire life, because we lived right across the street from one another,” U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito said. “I knew Doc from the day that I came home from the hospital. He is without a doubt part of the cornerstone of the Island Park community. A piece of Island Park died when Doc McGann passed away, and that’s the truth.”

D’Esposito said that McGann was actively involved in Sacred Heart Church, where he and Geraldine, née Essex, were married on April 7, 1956. McGann also spearheaded countless community fundraisers and gatherings at local beaches and sports games as a basketball coach.

D’Esposito also said that McGann inspired him to join the Fire Department, and to follow in his footsteps as chief, and as head of the Republican Committee. He noted that McGann played an integral part in his campaign for, and election to, Congress.

“He taught me to always try to leave the world a little bit better than how you found it, and to continue doing the right thing, even if no one is looking,” D’Esposito said. “There is no question that the Island Park community and beyond was left a way better place because of Doc.”

“His legacy is that he was a kind, gentle person,” Kevin McGann said. “People could rely on him in the morning, noon and night. He was always there for people, and I think they will always appreciate everything that he has done for the community.”

In addition to his wife and children, McGann is survived by his brother Frances McGann and sister Rosemary Loos; grandchildren Sarah, Alessandro, Caroline, Sean, Lauren, Kira, Ryan, Nicole, Nick, Michelle, Charles and Brittany; and great- grandchildren Giana, Banx, Melania, Emma and Henry. Funeral services were held at Sacred Heart on Nov. 13.