Roger Cannon, 86, died at home Sunday, December 5, 2010. The oldest of four brothers, he was born July 8, 1924 in Dale, Wisconsin, to Harry Cannon and Ila (Larsen) Cannon.
While growing up he showed an avid interest in electronics. After graduating from high school (Mendota, IL) in 1942, he entered the Army. Following more than a year of training in New Jersey, he was deployed to India, where he maintained gasoline refrigeration units.
After the war, Roger attended Engineering School at UW Madison for two years. While away from school and working in a radio repair shop in the Green Bay area, he met Elizabeth Fadner, a teacher at the school where his mother was secretary. He told her, "You are the girl I'm going to marry". Then, he quit his job, gave her a ring, and applied at IBM—in that order. Roger and Beth were married in Calumet Michigan July 5, 1952—the hottest day of that year in the UP. Following the ceremony, they boarded the train for Endicott, New York. There, Roger completed his training for IBM. The company sent them to Green Bay, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, before they finally settled in Wausau, where he worked until retiring in 1987.
In Wausau, they raised two sons, Michael and Robert. Roger, (Ham Radio call sign K9BCB), was actively involved in the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association. He accumulated an extensive library of Science Fiction titles, and fulfilled a lifelong fascination with flying by maintaining his membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association. For many, many years, he made the August drive to the EAA Fly-In at Whitman Field in Oshkosh. He also was a member of the group who worked to restore the Kilgen pipe organ at Wausau's Grand Theater. Roger and Beth enjoyed playing Bridge with their many friends, camping, and traveling throughout the Midwest.
In a 35-year career with IBM, working on mainframe computers, Roger was known for his dependability, cheerfulness, and hard work, but especially for the bad jokes he brought with him on each service visit. On several occasions, he taught classes at the IBM Education Centers.
Roger will be remembered—and missed greatly by family and friends—for his patience, cheerfulness, and irreverent good humor. No matter how crazy the circumstances, he was known for his calmness and willingness to just keep on going. Roger was preceded in death by brothers Don and Dennis, and his wife Beth died in January 2007. He is survived by sons Mike (Linda) Cannon and Bob (Susan Pukay) Cannon, Wausau; brother Harry (Laura) Cannon, Shreveport, Louisiana; grandsons Nathan Cannon (Monroe, WI), Philip Cannon and Jared Cannon, both of Wausau; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial Service will be noon Monday December 13, 2010, at the First Presbyterian Church chapel 406 Grant Street, Wausau. Rev. Joy Nelson-Jeffers will officiate. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, where military honors will be performed by the American Legion Montgomery Plant Post #10. Visitation will be at the church from 10a.m. Monday until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, gifts and memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church of Wausau, 407 Grant Street, Wausau, WI 54403, or to the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association, P.O. Box 363, Wausau, WI 54402.
On-line condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com