His father, D.C. Cannon — the man for whom D.C. Cannon Elementary School is named — was inducted in 2009.
Supt. Dr. Debra Crosby welcomed a large crowd of supporters and the high school student body.
Former school board member and longtime resident Bill Slaughter spoke in honor of Cannon and gave his biography as well as stories and anecdotes from his life.
Cannon spoke about the building blocks of his life, character and leadership from his parents through his career and volunteerism.
A video presentation featuring Cannon was screened, the Quinlan chapter of FFA gave the Presentation of Colors and the Quinlan Ford Choir sang the National Anthem and “Homeward Bound,” under the direction of Judith McCarty.
The speeches and other presentations were well received by the large audience that gave Cannon a rousing standing ovation at the end of his speech.
A plaque featuring Cannon was unveiled by Crosby and Director of Family and Community Engagement Kathleen Witt to close out the ceremony. A luncheon in Cannon’s honor was served at noon.
During her welcome, Dr. Crosby said, “The hall of fame was established in 2008 as a system for honoring alumni and former staff members who have distinguished themselves through high levels of achievement in his-her field; who receive meritorious distinction in the community, state or nation; or who have dedicated themselves to outstanding community service. These honored alumni and staff are people who exemplify excellence and the characteristics that we endeavor to instill in our students. This program of recognition will reinforce to the students of Quinlan ISD the importance of scholarship, honor, integrity, courage and leadership.”
Crosby said Cannon was a member of the graduating class of 1964. He was born Sept. 8, 1946, the son of D.C. and Lillian Cannon.
“While in high school, he lettered in basketball and baseball and was the president of the Future Farmers of America,” she said. He married Chris Bennett on April 9, 1965, and they have three sons, Larry, Scott and Daniel, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
“Mr. Cannon’s life has been marked by volunteerism,” Crosby said. “With each USDA relocation, he became involved in the community in various capacities — youth sports coach, cub master, vice president of the Little League Association and president of the Athletic Booster Club. Mr. Cannon currently serves as the president of the United Methodist Men’s group and hosts their annual fish fry fundraiser.”
She said Cannon moved from packer-stocker at the food pantry in Feb. 2013 to become the executive director in Nov. 2014.
“Under his direction and with the help of 40 volunteers, LASM Food Pantry distributed 2,708 boxes of food to needy individuals in 2015,” she said. “Mr. Cannon was recognized with the Larry Pare Award by the Lake Tawakoni Regional Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year for 2015.
Slaughter spoke of Cannon’s life and work including his volunteerism at the food pantry, “Under the direction of another retiree — paraplegic Jerry Porter — the food pantry expanded to feed more families when they moved to its current location. That's where Gary comes in — he took the reins from Jerry when he became homebound.
“If you'll picture this with me for a moment — at Lake Tawakoni, we have a number of children, as well as citizens of all ages, who often have to go to bed hungry because there's little or no food in the house. That's what drives these volunteers to collect food and other donations to keep this food pantry going — to try to curb those hunger pains. Gary Cannon has taken on the responsibility to keep this food pantry afloat by appealing to anyone who will listen that they need help. LASM also helps when grant funds are available with utility and medical bills.”
Slaughter said families were allowed to receive food from the pantry every other month, but he said Cannon and the other volunteers had a dream of expansion that would allow them to help those in need monthly.
“Gary will tell you it's not him that makes this happen. It's a higher power than him, but it takes organization, ability to ask for help and a willingness to drive that train of volunteers,” Slaughter said.
He recalled Cannon’s mother and father, “Most of you know the name of Cannon as his mother, Lillian, was a mainstay at the post office here for decades. Miss Lillian was also known for writing Quinlan Personals for years for The Quinlan-Tawakoni News.”
Slaughter said his dad, D.C. "Dip" Cannon, was a member of the school board here for 37 years. “When my family moved here in 1981 to work at The News, Mr. Cannon was still on the board as was another familiar name, A.E. Butler. Both have schools named after them, and rightfully so.”
He quipped that while he was also serving on the school he was going for Cannon’s record until someone said it was 37 years. “I only had 15 delightful years with most of them being very enjoyable and fulfilling.”
Slaughter closed, “That's the kind of man Gary Cannon is — still helping, providing good, safe food for our needy families to consume. This honor today shows how grateful the Quinlan and Tawakoni area is that Gary and Chris have returned home to continue to serve mankind.”
~ Larry Briscoe, Quinlan-Tawakoni News Correspondent
Nomination applications for future Hall of Fame Inductions are available online via the QISD web page: http://goo.gl/7FoShB or at the QISD Central Office, 401 E. Richmond, Quinlan, TX 75474.
Contact: Kathleen Witte, 903-356-1226 or at email@example.com.