Hamilton County deputy passes away from illness

Deputy David McCann passed away Saturday night. Moments before, his family learned he had been living with pancreatic cancer. Image: Melissa McCann

Hamilton County Deputy David McCann died Saturday night in a hospital bed. His wife, Melissa, says it all started Thursday morning.

Read his obit here.

"He woke me up Thursday morning" she said. "He wasn't feeling well, and he showed some symptoms that I didn't like."

They went to Memorial hospital in Chattanooga. After many tests, the family learned from doctors that the deputy had been living pancreatic cancer. They were told right before he died

"I think he passed away not even knowing he had cancer," said McCann. She is now a widow, but she isn't the only Hamilton County resident feeling his loss.

"It was kind of surreal," said Hamilton County deputy Jason Smith. He worked several shifts with Deputy McCann. "I couldnt believe it. I just talked to him. I had walked in the hospital with him, and before that, I had worked a few weeks ago with him."

He says the deputy made a name for himself

"If you needed help working on your vehicle, he was there for you. If you needed help moving he was there. "If you needed help on a call, he was there, he always backed you up if you needed help. Even if you didn't need help, he was there."

Any tragedy is hard, but for Melissa McCann, this one is twice as painful. That's because about a year ago, this same process happened with her father.

"We were reliving it again," she said. "When they started telling us he's got a fever, and he's not doing so good and he may be septic, it was like listening to the nurses talk about my dad."

Deputy McCann leaves behind a 25-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. As well as a department full of brothers and sisters.

"We're gonna miss him. We're still gonna be there for his family as much as we can," said Deputy Smith

Deputy McCann's family says they are planning 3 days for visitation because so many people want to pay their respects. The first day is Tuesday. The funeral will be Thursday afternoon at Valley Funeral Home in Stevenson, Alabama.

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