Cover photo for Dr. Katherine Davis Cann's Obituary
Dr. Katherine Davis Cann Profile Photo
1947 Dr. Katherine 2024

Dr. Katherine Davis Cann

October 12, 1947 — May 7, 2024


Dr. Katherine Davis Cann died on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, following an extended illness. She was born in Greer, SC, a daughter of the late Harold and Mary Laura Davis.


Kathy graduated from Greer High School and earned a BA degree in history at Lander College where she was the Valedictorian of her class. In later years, she served as president of the Lander Alumni Association and endowed a scholarship in the humanities.


Dr. Cann earned a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD in history at the University of South Carolina. In 1971, she joined the faculty of North Greenville College; after receiving her doctorate, she became a faculty member of Spartanburg Methodist College where she taught for 34 years.


Dr. Cann was an accomplished scholar. She published articles on South Carolina history in the 19th and 20th centuries. She was the author of Common Ties: A History of Textile Industrial Institute, Spartanburg Junior College and Spartanburg Methodist College. With Dr. George Fields, she wrote Turning Point, a study of the American Revolution in the Upstate.


 She chaired the Social Sciences Department at SMC for a decade and served as president of the South Carolina Historical Association. She was an active member of the Southern Association of Women Historians.


Kathy married Dr. Marvin L. Cann and she and Marvin enjoyed traveling the United States, Canada and Europe. They often spent summer vacations on Kiawah Island and took many trips to the Smokey Mountains. They loved the registered collies and dogs from the Humane Society that lived with them. A 105-pound, part-lab named Dirk was Kathy’s favorite pet.


Kathy is survived by her husband, Dr. Marvin L. Cann; a brother, Kent W. Davis (Lisa), a stepson, Reese Cann (Nancy), a grandson, Brian Cann, and a granddaughter, Jaclyn Cann Cho (Lance).


A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Central United Methodist Church, 233 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306, conducted by the Rev. Cameron Treece. Visitation will follow in the church fellowship hall.


The family requests that flowers be omitted, and memorials may be made to the Katherine Davis Cann Scholarship at Lander University, 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29649; to Central United Methodist Church, 233 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306; or to a charity of one’s choice.


Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel


An online guest register is available at 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Central United Methodist Church

233 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306

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