There is one thing you must know before reading this obituary. No one- no wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandma, great-grandma, aunt or cousin was ever loved as much as we loved her. It’s just not possible. Now, you could make a case for your loved one and try to change our minds, but you won’t.
Ella Mae Cannon, 85, of Kahoka passed away August 20, 2017 at the Clark County Nursing Home. She was born on June 23, 1932 in Vincennes, IA to Verna Marmion and James Thompson. She was raised by her grandparents Frank and Rosetta Kendall Marmion. Growing up, she received the full dose of stubborn, Irish love and self-assuredness. She learned from an early age to have pride of place and family and how to live well within your means. She believed that with hard work came opportunity, and with opportunity came hard work. Ella left school after 8th grade to help look after her younger sisters, Rosie and Ruby. To experience such hardship and remain such a selfless person was a testament to her character.
Like many women of her time, Ella made up for the lack of formal education by excelling at a wide variety of jobs: plucking chickens, glazing donuts, arming land mines and driving a fork-truck. She always said that education was the most important gift one could be given, and had she the opportunity she would have studied interior design. Unlike many women of her time, she had many opinions and she didn’t hesitate to share them.
In early 1953, she met the ornery brother of her roommate and on October 10th of that year, she became Mrs. Kenneth H. Cannon. They made their home in Alexandria, Mo and had 4 children: Karen, Brenda, Kirby and Mark.
Ella had a quiet dignity about everything she did. From the way she dressed, to keeping house, her job responsibilities and especially caring for loved ones. Her children’s successes were her joys and their failures were her heartbreaks. This continued into their adult lives. When she and Kenny moved to Kahoka, the family would still gather at noon every day to have dinner in the informal living room, which was actually the garage. On a summer day, you could drive by and see the big garage door open and a happy family enjoying a meal.
Ella had a true appreciation for the little details which was evident in her award-winning place settings, her penmanship, her immaculately painted fingernails and in her kindness. Ella would give you the shirt off her back and include instructions on how to care for it.
Ella faced life’s challenges with a dramatic flair, and abundance of class and a gentle good humor. After her husband’s death in 1994, Ella took great comfort from the Alexandria Presbyterian Church. They became like family- which came easily as most were related anyway. She was a member of the church bereavement committee and with the church visited the nursing home to play bingo, the Primrose Extension Club and supported the Clark Co. Relay for Life. Everyone who came into contact with her felt, even after a few short minutes of polite conversation, that she was a dear friend who cared a great deal about them. Ella found the time that often many of us can’t-to make extended family, especially her in-laws and nieces and nephews, feel loved as though they were hers the whole time.
On Ella’s behalf, her children would like to thank her family and friends for their prayers and support during this difficult time. Her caregivers, especially those at the Clark Co. Nursing Home gave her love and dignity when she needed it the most. What a profound loss it was to lose her- to watch someone so small wage such an epic battle to stay with us. The little things in life aren’t so little after all. We thank God for the opportunity to love her and have been loved by her in return.
In addition to her husband, Kenneth, she was preceded in death by her son, Mark, her parents James Thompson and Verna Humes, her grandparents Frank and Rosetta Kendall Marmion; mother and father-in-law Wesley and Bernece Cannon; brothers-in-law David "Bud" Fox, Leo Hallinan, Robert Cannon, Guy Cannon, Russell Steele and Robert Boley; sisters-in-law Charlotte Fox,Anna Cannon, and Lois Cannon; nephews Jeffrey Steele, Joseph and Isaac Jones; and great-grandson John Patrick Keyser.
She is survived by her daughters Karen (Randy) Smith and Brenda (Roy) Brown , both of Kahoka, MO; her son, Kirby (Lisa) Cannon of Marquette, MI; grandchildren Kelsey Smith Lesinski of St. Charles, MO, Lindsey (Tyler) Smith Roach of Morrisville, NC, Gabe (Jaime) Cooper of Ottumwa, IA, Karessa (Patrick) Cooper Keyser of Hannibal, MO, Joshua Ledbetter of Nashville, TN, Jason (Bambi) Brown, Justin Brown, Heather (Chauncey)Wilson and Michelle (David) Hess, all of Kahoka, MO; nineteen great grandchildren: Aiden Lesinski, Cash and Hunter Cooper, Pierce and Grace Keyser, Jade Pearsall, Brennan Fuller, Brytin, Brea and Brylyn Wilson, Drenda, Dereck, Delana and Drake Hess, Karah, Klayden and Kacen Brown, and Luke and Macie Brown; sisters Rose Boley, Ruby Hallinan Joann Humes; sisters and brothers-in-law Keith and Joan Cannon of Kahoka, Rodney and Arlene Cannon of Punta Gorda, FL, Edwin and Delores Cannon of Kahoka, and Barbara Steele of Keokuk; along with cherished nieces and nephews, cousins, and many friends.
Funeral services were held Friday, August 25, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Kahoka with Rev. David Castrodale and Mr. Jim Richardson officiating and Mr. Kevin Fox, eulogist.
Mrs. Paula Fox was pianist and Mrs. Karessa Cooper Keyser vocalist. Selection was “How Great Thou Art”. Additional music was recordings “Irish Farewell Song”, “Because You Loved Me”, “If You Love Her, Let Her Go”, “You Raise Me Up” and “May the Road Rise Up To Meet You’.
Honorary pallbearers were Bruce Marmion, Doug Steele, Alex Steele, Harry Cannon, David Cannon, Kevin Fox, Dennis Boley, and Pat Cannon.
Pallbearers were Chris Canon, Steve Boley, Kent Fox, Mike Boley, K.J. Cannon and Steve Cannon.
Visitation was held Friday after 9 a.m. at Wilson Funeral Home with family receiving friends from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m.
Burial followed in Sand Cemetery in St. Francisville with hymns “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Time to Say Goodbye”.
Memorials are suggested to the Alexandria Presbyterian Church or H.E. Sever Memorial Library.
On-line condolences may be expressed at www.wilsonfuneralservice.com.