Web Editor’s Note: To find out more about Tom and see his self- authored eulogy or leave a remembrance for others to find comfort in, you are welcome visit his Facebook page.
Albuquerque – Tom Cannon, 84, of Albuquerque, N.M. died Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 at his home after a 4 ½ year battle with cancer. Per his wishes, there will be no memorial service.
Tom was born in 1928 in Ralls, Texas and spent most of his adult life as an educator and citizen soldier in the Panhandle. He attended Oregon State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Utah, Baylor, and Texas Tech University ultimately earning a Doctorate of Education in 1969 from Texas Tech. He enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 serving as an engineer in the 82nd Airborne Division. After leaving active service in 1947, he served another 40 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. Tom retired from the Reserves as a Colonel in 1969 and proudly rejoined the Guard as a Sergeant First Class in the 2nd Battalion, 142nd Infantry Regiment of the 49th Armored Division in Amarillo where he served until he reached the age of 60.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he worked in Lubbock as a policeman, postal carrier, and Chief of the Juvenile Probation Department while he attended Texas Tech. From 1965 to1969, he served as Headmaster of St. Christopher’s School (now All Saints School) also in Lubbock. Upon earning his Doctorate degree, he became a professor of Psychology at West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M). He retired as a Full Professor in 1993 and was named Professor Emeritus in Psychology in 2011. After retiring fully in 1999 from his 30 year private practice as a Licensed Psychologist, he moved to Albuquerque where he enjoyed life and corresponding with family and friends via mail and email.
Tom was a complex man with a great sense of humor who always looked out for and helped other people. He was particularly fond of suggesting ROTC as a way to get ahead to almost anyone he met under the age of 40. For this type of dedication to the military in general and the WT Department of Military Science in particular, he was awarded an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal in 1977.
He is survived by his second wife, Patricia Althen Cannon of Albuquerque and his two sons and their families; Michael and Debbye Cannon of South Jordan, Utah, their children Christopher and Natalie and Natalie’s family, husband David and Tom’s great grandchildren, Penny and Emmett; and Patrick and Donna Cannon of Albuquerque, New Mexico and their children, Dr. Elizabeth Hillman and her husband Paul and Daniel and his fiancé, Alyssa. Tom’s first wife is Mildred Holloway Cannon who currently resides in Canyon, Texas. He is also survived by his cousin, Jane Smith of Dallas, who was raised as his sister by his grandparents.
In his final days he wrote, “Whatever you were planning to spend on cards, flowers, or contributions, I would appreciate it if you spent it on yourself instead.” Those who knew him understand that remark is rooted in his hard-headed reluctance to graciously accept gifts as well as compliments. However, if you would prefer to do something to honor his memory or what he may have meant to you or someone you know, the family suggests that you consider a contribution to the Tom Cannon Student Service Scholarship at West Texas A&M University at https://mercury.wtamu.edu/wtfoundation/. You can select Tom’s scholarship in the “How my gift should be used” section of the page. You can also send in any contribution to the WTAMU Office of Development, Attention: Lance Ortiz, PO Box 60766, Canyon, TX 79016.