August 12, 1936 ~ October 2, 2010
Ann Elizabeth McKain died peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones, on October 2, 2010. She was a passionate teacher, psychotherapist, family member and friend. Loyalty was her watchword and she demonstrated her boundless loyalty over and over again to everyone she loved. Somehow she was always right there in a crisis, standing solidly by our side, never judging, always giving. Her passions embraced public education, the art of psychotherapy, music and song, American history, golf and travel. She leaves behind people who have enjoyed and benefitted from her expertise in each of these pursuits. Ann was born in Camden, SC, on August 12, 1936, the daughter of Joseph E. and Edith Parler McKain. She attended the University of Georgia earning a degree in psychology. She then returned to Camden and taught history in the local public high school. Always outrageous and fearless, she told with great relish many stories of her years in Camden, a small Southern town with a tradition of wealthy conservatism. In the mid-sixties she returned to UGA and achieved a Doctorate in School Psychology in 1970. After working as a school psychologist for the Atlanta School System, she became instrumental in founding the Educational Psychology graduate department at Georgia State University. As her interest in psychotherapy grew, she steeped herself in the theory and practice of humanistic psychotherapy and transitioned from being a popular professor to being a respected psychotherapist. In each of these roles, she has touched the lives of countless students and patients with her warmth, acceptance, courage and joy in life. Although her energy and enthusiasm was evident in all her activities, they were perhaps most obvious in her love of singing. She studied voice throughout her life, particularly enjoying singing old standards and Broadway show tunes. Always ready to break into song, she entertained often and encouraged others to pursue their musical talent with equal ardor. At 71 years old, she recorded her first CD, "No Regrets," a title that sums up her view of her life. The production of this album represents what Ann called her "path not taken" and she was delighted to share this part of herself with everyone. Days later she received the first diagnosis of lung cancer and lived valiantly and fully for the next two and a half years. The other high point in her career was her election as President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists from 1994 to 1996, having served as Southern Region Chair and as a member of the Executive Council. Recently she was awarded the honor of being named a Fellow of AAP for her long and meritorious service in positions of responsibility as well as for the contribution of her musical talent, as she co-starred in a Cabaret production which raised $5000 for the AAP Trust Fund .. Ann leaves behind many who love her, most notably her partner Ruth Coody of Atlanta. She is also survived by additional family members, her younger brother Joe McKain, Jr, resident of Hendersonville, NC, his children, Elizabeth Nash, Heather Moore, and Patrick McKain, all of South Carolina, and their spouses and 10 children. Each of her nieces and nephews has known her as a strong, adoring aunt and protector. A loving friend and teacher, a warmly intimate companion and a funny and courageous woman, Ann will be sorely missed. She made of her life a great and generous gift and we are all richer for having known her. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Hospice Atlanta. Cremation of the remains will be done by Wages and Sons in Stone Mountain. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Atlanta. Check Ann's page on The Caring Bridge website for more information.